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^ Ciezada*^ * deT Travels, a.d. 

1532-50, coiitamcu •-«!* the First part of his 
Clironicle of Peru ; translated and edited, 
with n6tes and an introduction by C. R. 
Markuam, 8vo. mtip^cloth, 36» ^ , 1864_ 




The Council have great pleasure in being able to report 
to the Members of the Hakluyt Society that, during the 
last year, a considerable increase has been made to their 
numbers. At the same time the list of subscribers has 
been carefully revised, and has been cleared of a great many 
names of members who disregard the applications made 
to them for the payment of their arrears. The number of 
Members is now 224, and the balance in the Banker^s hands 
is £431 : 17 : 3. The arrears due to the Society amount to 
£290 : 1 7 : 0, while there are no outstanding debts of any kind. 

Thus the funds of the Society are in a prosperous condition, 
and several Editors have, since the issue of the last annual 
Eeport, undertaken works of great value and rarity. The 
Council, therefore, congratulate the Members on the 
satisfactory state of the Society^s affairs; but they would 
also remind them that a large addition to the number 
of the subscribers is very desirable, and that the power 
of doing full justice to the authors whose works are 
reproduced in the Society^s volumes, depends upon the 
support which is received from those who are interested in 
this very important branch of literature. 

Since the last General Meeting, the two following volumes 
have been delivered to members : — 

1 . " Mirabilia Descripta." " Or the wonders of the 
East, by Friar Jordanus (circa 1330) .'' Translated 
from the Latin original, with the addition of a com- 
mentary by Colonel Henry Yule, C.B., late of the 
Eoyal Engineers (Bengal). 

2, " The Travels of Ludovico di Varthema in Egypt, 
Syria, Arabia Deserta and Arabia Felix, in Persia, 
India, and Ethiopia (a.d. 1503 to 1508)." Translated 
from the original Italian edition of 1510, with a preface, 
by John Winter Jones, Esq., F.S.A. ; and edited with 
Notes and an Introduction by the Rev. George Percy 

The following work is in the hands of the printer, and 
will be delivered to Members in the course of the 
autumn ••— 

" The Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon, from the 
gulf of Darien to the city of La Plata, contained in the 
first part of the Chronicle of Peru, which treats of the 
bovmdaries and description of provinces, founding of 
new cities, rites and customs of the Indians, and other 
strange things worthy to be known (Antwerp 1554)." 
Translated and edited, with Notes and an Introduction, 
by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 

And the following works have been undertaken by 
Editors, one of which will be issued as the second volume 
for the present year : — 

1. "The Travels of Josafa Barbaro and Ambrogio 
Contarini in Tana and Persia." Translated from 
Eamusio by E. A. Roy, Esq., and edited by Viscount 

2. "The Narrative of Pascual do Andagoya, con- 
taining the earliest notice of Peru." Translated and 
edited, with Notes, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 

3. "The Discovery and Conquest of the Canary 
Islands by Bethencourt in 1402-25." Translated and 
edited by Captain J, G. Goodenough, R.N. 

4. " The Voyage of Vasco de Gama round the Ca])e 


of Grood Hope m 1497/' now first translated from a 
contemporaneous manuscript, accompanied by other 
documents, forming a monograph on tlie life of De 
Gama. To be translated and edited by Richard Garnett, 
Esq., of the British Museum. 

5. '' The Three Voyages of Sir Martin Frobisher," 
with a selection of his letters now in the State Paper 
Office. Edited by Rear-Admiral R. CoUinson, R.N., 

6. '' Cathay, and the road thither. '^ A collection of 
all minor notices of China, previous to the sixteenth 
century ; to be translated and edited, with Notes and 
an Introduction, by Colonel Henry Yule, C.B. 

7. " The Fifth Letter of Hernan Cortes, describing 
his Voyage to Honduras in 1525-26,'^ to be translated 
and edited by WiUiam Stirhng, Esq., M.P. 

8. "The Voyage and Travailes of John Hughen van 
Linschoten into the East or Portugales Indies from 
A.D. 1576-92," to be reprinted from the English 
translation of 1598, and edited by the Rev. G. P. 

9. "Description of Africa and of the notable things 
in it, by John Leo Africanus.'^ To be translated 
from Ramusio, and edited, with Notes and an Introduc- 
tion, by Dr. Henry Barth, C.B., Hon. Corr. Mem. 

The following Six Members retire from the Council : — 

Commodore Ceacropt, R.N., C.B. 

John Forster, Esq. 

Dr. Hodgkin. 

Sir Erskine Perry. 

Major General Sir Henry Rawlinson, K.C.B. 

Lord Broughton. 

Of this number, the three following are proposed for 
re-election, viz : 

Sir Erskine Perry. 

Major General Sir Henry Rawlinson, K.C.B. 

The Right Hon. Lord Broughton. 

And the names of the following gentlemen are proposed 
for election : — 

Viscount Strangford. 

General C. Fox. 

Rear-Admiral R. Collinson, C.B. 

Captain Sherard Osborn, R.N., C.B. 

Rev. G. p. Badger. 

John W. Kaye, Esq. 

THE YEAR 1863-64. 

Bulance at Hunker's at last Audit . £357 10 
Received by Banker during tlie 

year 3H 6 3 

Petty Cast) in liaiid at last Audit . 1 16 

Petty Cash received in July 18G4 . 10 

Mr. ,1. E. Richard, for Paper .... £35 2 

Mr. Richards, for Printing 175 11 

'i'ranscri|)tions 2117 

Mr. Stanford, lor a Map 29 7 6 

Charge at Hull, on f 2 : 2 (Bank of 

Kngland) 6 

Gratuity lo Agent's Foreman 5 

Expended in Petty Cash 5 7 

£271 18 7 

Present Balance at Banker's 431 17 3 

Present Balance in Petty Cash .. C 15 5 

£710 11 3 

F.xiiiiiiiHMl aiifl approved July 15ib, lH(i4. 





Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, Corr. Mem. Inst. Fr., &a. &a. 


Rear-admiral C. R. DRINKWATER BETHUXE, C.B. 
The Right Hon. SIR DAVID DUXDAS, M.P. 


Rev. G. p. BADGER, F.R.G.S. 

J. BARROW, Esq., F.R.S. 


Rear-admiral R. COLLINSON, C.B. 

Sir henry ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S. 

General C. FOX. 

R. W. GREY, Esq. 



His Excellency the Count de 

R. H. MAJOR, Esq., F.S.A. 
Major-General Sir HENRY C. B 


Honorary Secretary-c R. markham, Esq. 
Bankers— Messrs. RANSOM, BOUVERIE, and Co., 1, Pall Mall East. 

S^IX i&aMupt g^Oftet^, which is eftabhfhed for the 
i^^(£ purpofe of printing rare or unpublifhed Voyages 
and Travels, aims at opening by this means, an eafier access 
to the fources of a branch of knowledge, which yields to 
none in importance, and is fuperior to moft in agreeable 
variety. The narratives of travellers and navigators make 
us acquainted with the earth, its inhabitants and pro- 
du6lions ; they exhibit the growth of intercourfe among 
mankind, with its effefts on civilization, and, while inftru6l- 
ing, they at the fame time awaken attention, by recounting 
the toils and adventures of thofe who firfb explored unknown 
and diftant regions. 

The advantage of an Affociation of this kind, confifbs not 

merely in its syftem of literary co-operation, but alfo in its 

economy. The acquirements, tafte, and difcrimination of 

a number of individuals, who feel an intereft in the fame 


purfuit, are thus brought to aft in voluntary combination, 
and the ordinary charges of pubHcation are alfo avoided, fo 
that the volumes produced are diftributed among the 
Members (who can alone obtain them) at little more than 
the coft of printing and paper. The Society expends the 
whole of its funds in the preparation of works for the 
Members ; and fmce the coft of each copy varies inverfely 
as the whole number of copies printed, it is obvious that 
the members are gainers individually by the profperity of 
the Society, and the confequent vigour of its operations. 

Neiv Members have, at prefent, tJie privilege of purchafiug 
the complete fet of tJie publications of the Society for previous 
years for thirteen guineas, but have not the potver offeleHing 
any particular volume. 

The Members are requefted to bear in mind that the 
power of the Council to make advantageous arrangements, 
will depend, in a great meafure, on the prompt payment of 
the subscriptions, which are payable in advance on the 
1st of January, and are received by Mr. Richards, 37, 
Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, who is the 
Society's agent for the delivery of its volumes. Poft 
Office Orders fhould be made payable to Mr. Thomas 
Richards, at the Weft Central Office, High Holborn. 


1— The Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Knt. 

In his Voynge into the South Sea in 1593. Reprinted from the edition of 
1622, and edited by Capt. C. R. Dkinkwater Bethune, R.N., C.B. 

2— Select Letters of Columhus. 

\Vitli Original Documents relating to the Difcovery of the New World. Tranf- 

laled and Edited by R. H. Major, Esq., of the Britifli Mufeum. 

3— The Discoverie of the Empire of Giiiana, 

By Sir Walter Ralcgli, Knt. Edited, with copious Explanatory Notes, and a 
Biographical Memoir, by SiR Ruiiert M. Schomiiurgk, Phil. D., etc. 

4-Sir Francis Drake his Voyage, 1595, 

By Thomas Maynarde, together with the Sjianifli Account of Drake's attack 
on I'uerto Rico, Edited from the Original MSS., by W. D. CoOi.EV, ]-:s(i. 

5— Narratives of Early Voyages 

Undertaken for the Difcovery of a Paffage to Cathaia and India, by the North- 
wefl, with Seledtions from the Records of the worfliipful Fellowfhip of the 
Merchants of London, trading into the Eafl Indies; and from MSS. in the 
Library of the Britifli Mufeum, now firfl publiihed by Thomas Rundall, Esq. 

6— The Eistorie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia, 

Expreffing the Cofmographie and Commodities of the Country, together with 
the manners and Cultoms of the people, gathered and obferved as well by 
thofe who went firft thither as collected by William Strachey, Gent, the firft 
Secretary of the Colony ; now firft Edited from the original manufcript in the 
Britifli INIufeum, by R. H. Major, Esq., of the Britifh Mufemn. 

7— Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America 

And the Islands adjacent, coUedled and publifhed by Richard Hakluyt, 
Prebendary of Briftol in the year 1582. Edited, with Notes and an intro- 
duction, by John Winter Jones, Esq., of the Britifh Mufeum. 

8— A Collection of Documents on Japan. 

With a Commentary by Thomas Rundall, Esq. 

9— The Discovery and Conquest of Florida, 

By Don Ferdinando de Soto. Tranflated out of Portuguefe by Richard 

Hakluyt; and Edited, with notes and an introducflion, by W. B. Rye, Esq., 

of the Britifh Mufeum. 

10— Notes upon Russia, 

Being a Tranflation from the Earlieft Account of that Countiy, entitled Rerum 
Muscoviticarum Commentarii, by the Baron Sigdfmund von Herberftein, 
Ambaffador from the Court of Germany to the Grand Prince Vafdey Ivanovich, 
in the years 1517 and 1526. Two Volumes. Tranflated and Edited, with 
Notes and an Introdudlion, by R. H. Major, Esq., of the Britifh Mufeum. 
Vol. I. 

11— The Geography of Hudson's Bay. 

Being the Remarks of Captain W. Coats, in many Voyages to that locality, 
between the years 1727 and 1751. With an Appendix, containing Extracts 
from the Log of Captain Middleton on his Voyage for the Difcovery of the 
North-west Passage, in H.M.S. "Furnace," in 1741-2. Edited by John 
Barrow, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A. 

12— Notes upon Russia. Vol 2. 

13— Three Voyages by the Northeast, 

Towards Cathay and China, undertaken by the Dutch in the years 1594, 1595, 

and 1596, with their Difcoveiy of Spitzbergen, their refidence often months in 

Novaya Zemlya, and their safe return in two open boats. By Gerrit de Veer. 

Edited by C. T. Beke, Esq., Ph.D., F.S.A. 

14-15— The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China and 

the Situation 1 hereof. 

Compiled by the Padre Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza. And now Reprinted 

from the Early Tranflation of R. Parke. Edited by Sir George T. 

Staunton, Bart With an Introdudtion by R. H. Major, Esq. 2 vols. 

16— The "World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake. 

Being his next Voyage to that to Nombre de Dios. Collated, with an 

unpublifhed Manufcript of Francis Fletcher, Chaplain to the Expedition. 

With Appendices illuftrative of the fame Voyage, and Introdudtion by W. S. 

W. Vaux, Esq., M.A. 

17— The History of the Tartar Conquerors who Subdued China. 

From the French of tlie POre D'Orleans, 1688. Tranllated and Edited by the 

Earl ov Ellesmere. With an Introduction by R. II. Major, Esq. 

18— A Collection of Early Documents on Spitzhergen and Greenland, 

Confiding of : a Tranflation from the German of F. Martin's important work 
on Spitzbergen, now veiy rare; a Tranflation from Isaac de la Peyrere's 
Relation de Greenland; and a rare piece entitled "God's Power and Pro- 
vidence fliowed in the miraculous prefervation and deliverance of eight 
Engliflimen left by mifchance in Greenland, anno 1630, nine moneths and 
twelve days, faithfully reported by Edward Pelham." Edited, with Notes, by 
Adam AVhite, Esq., of the Britifli Mufeum. 

19- The Voyage of Sir Henry Middleton to Bantam and the Maluco Islands. 

From the rare Edition of 1606. Edited by BoLTON CORNEY, Esq. 

20-Kussia at the Close of the Sixteenth Century. 

Comprifmg "The Ruffe Commonwealth" by Dr. Giles Fletcher, and Sir 

Jerome Ilorfey's Travels, now firft printed entire from his manufcript in the 

Britifli Mufeum. Editeil by E. A. Bond, Esq., of the Britifli Mufeum. 

21— The Travels of Girolamo Benzoni in America, in 1542-56. 

Tranflated and Edited by Admiral W. H. Smith, F.R.S., F.S.A. 

22— India in the Fifteenth Century. 

Being a Colle(ilion of Narratives of Voyages to India in the century preceding 

the Portuguefe difcovery of the Cape of Good Hope; from Latin, Perfian, 

Ruffian, and Italian Sources, now firfl tranflated into EngliflL Edited, with 

an Introdudlion by R. H. Major, Esq., F.S.A. 

23— Narrative of a Voyage to the West Indies and Mexico, 

In the years 1599-1602, with Maps and Illuflrations. By Samuel Champlain. 

Tranflated from the original and unpublifhed Manufcript, with a Biographical 

Notice and Notes by Alice Wilmere. Edited by Norton Shaw. 

24— Expeditions into the Valley of the Amazons 

During the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries : containing the Journey of 
Gonzalo Pizarro, from the Royal Commentaries of Garcilaffo Inca de la Vega; 
the Voyage of Francifco de Orellana, from the General Hiflory of Herrera ; 
and the Voyage of Crifloval de Acuna, from an exceedingly fcarce narrative 
written by himfelf in 164 1. Edited and Tranflated by Clements R. 
Markham, Esq. 

25— Early Indications of Australia. 

A Colledlion of Documents fliewing the Early Difcoveries of Auftralia to the 

time of Captain Cook. Edited by R. H. Major, Esq., of the Britifh 

Mufeum, F.S.A. 

26-Thc Embassy of Euy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Timour, 1403-6. 

Tranflatetl, for the firft lime, with Notes, a Preface, and an Introdudlory Life 
of Timour Beg. By CLEMENTS R. Markham, Esq. 

27— Henry Hudson the Navigator 

The Original Documents in wliicli his career is recorded. Colleded, partly 
Tranflated, and .Viiiiulated, with an InliuducUon by GEORGE AsHEK, LL.D. 

28— The Expedition of ITrsua and Aguirre, 

In search of El Dorado and Omagua, a.d. 1560-61, Tranflated from the 

" Sexta Noticia Hiftorial" of Fray Pedro Simon, by W. Bollaert, Esq.; 

with an Introdudlion by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 

29— The Life and Acts of Don Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman. 

Tranflated from a Manufcript in the National Library at Madrid, and edited, 
with Notes and an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 

30— Discoveries of the World by Galvano . 

From their firfl original unto the year of our Lord 1555. Reprinted, with the 
original Portuguefe text, and edited by Vice- Admiral Bethune, C.B. 

31— Marvels described by Friar Jordanus, 

Of the Order of Preachers, native of Severac, and Bifliop of Columbum ; from 

a parchment manufcript of the Fourteenth Century, in Latin, the text of which 

has recently been Tranflated and Edited by Colonel H. Yule, C.B., 

F.R.G. S., late of H.M. Bengal Engineers. 

32— The Travels of ludovico di Varthema 

In Syria, Arabia, Perfia, India, etc., during the Sixteenth Century. Tranflated 

by J. Winter Jones, Esq., F. S.A., and edited, with Notes and an Intro- 

dudlion, by the Rev. George Percy Badger. 

33-The Travels of Cieza de Leon in 1532-50 

From the Gulf of Darien to the City of La Plata, contained in the firfl part of 

his Chronicle of Peru (Antwerp 1554). Tranflated and edited, with Notes 

and an Introduction, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 


The Travels of Jofafa Barbaro and Ambrogio Contarini in Tana and Perfia. 

Tranflated from Ramufio by E. A. RoY, Esq., and edited, with an 

Introduction, by ViscouNT Strangford. 
The Narrative of Pafcual de Andagoya, containing the earlieft notice of Peru. 

Tranflated and edited, with Notes, by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 
The Difcover}' and Conqueft of the Canary Iflands, by Bethencourt in 1402-ic,. 

Tranflated and edited by Captain J. G. Goodenough, R.N., F.R.G.S. 
The Voyage of Vafco de Gama round the Cape of Good Hope in 1497, now 

firfl Tranflated from a cotemporaneous manufcript, accompanied by 

other documents, forming a monograph on the life of De Gama. To 

be tranflated and edited by RiCHARD Garnett, Esq., of the Britifli 

The Three Voyages of Sir Martin Frobifher, with a seledlion from his Letters 

now in the State Paper Office. Edited by Rear-Admiral R. 

Cathay and the Road Thither. A colledlion of all minor notices of China, 

previous to the Sixteenth Century. Tranflated and edited by Colonel 

H. Yule, C.B. 
The Fifth Letter of Heman Cortes, describing his Voyage to Honduras in 

1525-26. Tranflated and edited by William Stirling, Esq., M.P. 

John Huigen van Linschoten. Difcourfe of a Voyage unto the Eaft Indies ; 

to be reprinted from the Englifli tranflation of 1598, and edited by the 

Rev. G. P. Badcer, F.R.G.S. 
Defcription of Africa and of the Notable Things in it, by John Leo Africanus. 

To be tranllated from Ramufio, and edited, with Notes and an Intro- 

dudlion, by Dr. H. Barth, C.B., Hon. Corr. Mem. F.R.G.S. 


Voyages of Alvaro de Mandana and Pedro Fernandez de Quiros in the South 
Seas, to be tranflated from Suarez de Figueroa's " Hechos del Marques 
deCaiiete," and Torquemada's " Monarquia Indiana." 

Inedited Letters, etc., of Sir Thomas Roe during his Embafly to India. 

The Travels of Duarte Barbosa in the Eafl, to be tranflated from the Portu- 

The Voyage of John Saris to India and Japan in 161 1 -13, from a manufcript 
copy of his Journal, dated 161 7. 

Pigafetta's Narrative of the Voyage of Magalhaens, to be tranflated from the 
Italian text, edited by Amoretti. 

The Topografia Chrifl;iana of Cosmas Indicopleuftes. 

Bernhard de Breydenbach, 1483-84, a.d. Travels in the Holy Land. 

Felix Fabri, 1483. Wanderings in the Holy Land, Egypt, etc. 

Voyage of Du Quefne to the Eafl; Indies in 1692, from a manufcript Journal 
by M. C. * * * * 

El Edrifi's Geography. 

Narrative of Giovanni da Verrazzano, a Florentine, concerning the land called 
New France, difcovered by him in the name of his Majefty : written at 
Dieppe, 1524 a.d. 

Voyage made by Captain Jaques Cartier in 1535 and 1536 to the ifles of 
Canada, Hochlega, and Saguenay. 

Nicolo and Antonio Zeno. Their Voyages to Frifland, Eflotiland, Vinland, 
Engroenland, etc. 

De Morga. Sucefos en las Iflas Filipinas. 

Ca da Mofto. Voyages along the Wefliern Coafl^ of Africa in 1454 : tranflated 
from the Italian text of 1507. 

J. dos Santos. The Hiflory of Eafl;ern Ethiopia. 1607. 

Joam de Caftro. Account of a Voyage made by the Portuguefe in 1541, 
from the city of Goa to Suez. 

Catcrino Zeno. A Journey to the empire of Perfia, in the time of Uzun 

John and Sebafl;ian Cabot. Their Voyages to America. 

Willoughby and Chancellor. Their Voyages to the North-east. 

Icelandic Sagas narrating the Difcovery of America. 


I. The obje(5l of this Society fhall be to print, for diflribution among its 
members, rare and valuable Voyages, Travels, Naval Expeditions, and other 
geographical records, from an early period to the beginning of the eighteenth 

II. The Annual Subfcription fhall be One Guinea, payable in advance on 
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copies if the work is alfo tranflated. 


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Allport, Franklin, Esq., 156, Leadenhall-street. 

Alston, Commander A. H. 

Antiquaries, the Society of. 

Army and Navy Club, 13, St. James's-square. 

Arrowsmith, John, Esq. 35, Hereford-square, South Kensington. 

Asher, A., Berlin. 

Asiatic Society of Calcutta. 

Astor Library, New York. 

Athen^um Club, The, Pall Mall. 

Athenaeum Library, Boston, U.S. 

Badger, Rev. George Percy, F.R.G.S., 7, Dawson-place, Bayswater. 

Baikie, Dr., Glasgow. 

Bank of England Library and Literary Association. 

Baring, Thomas George, Esq., M.P., 21, Lowndes-square. 

Barlersque, C, Esq., Bordeaux. 

Barrow, J., Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A., 17, Hanover-terrace, Regent's Park. 

Batho, J. A., Esq., 49, Upper Charlotte-street, Fitzroy-square. 

Beke, Charles T., Esq., Phil. D., F.S.A., Bekesbourne, Canterbury. 

Bell, Reverend Thomas, Berbice. 

Benzon, E. L. S., Esq., Sheffield. 

Berlin, The Royal Library of. 

Bethune, Rear-Admiral C. R. Drinkwater, C.B., 4, Cromwell-road. 

Biblioth^ue Imperiale, Paris. 

Birmingham Library (The) 

Blackie, Dr. Walter G., Villafield, Glasgow. 

Boston Public Library, U.S. 

Bowring, Sir John, LL.D., Athenreum Club 

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Brockhaus, F. A., Esq., Leipzig. 

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Deedes, Henry, Esq., India Office, S.W. 

Dilke, Sir C. Went worth, Bart, 76, Sloane- street. 

Dilke, C. W., Esq., 76, Sloane-street. 

Dry, Thos., Esq., 25, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

Ducie, Earl of, ], Belgrave-square, S.W. 

Dundas, Rt. Hon. Sir David, M.P., 13, King's Bench Walk, Temple. 

Dundas, George, Esq., 9, Charlotte-square, Edinburgh. 

Dundas, John, Esq., 25, St. Andrew's-square, Edinburgh. 

Duprat, M . B., Paris. 

Ellis, Sir Henry, K.H., F.R.S., 24, Bedford-square. 

Emmet, Dr. Addis, New York. 

Fletcher, Wm. Younger, Esq., British Museum. 

Foreign Office (The). 

Forster, John, Esq., Palace Gate House, Hyde Park Gate, W. 

Fox, General, 8, Grosvenor- square. 

Francis, Charles John, Esq., 7, St. Paul's Grove, Canonbury. 

Franklin, Lady, Upper Grove Lodge, Kensington. 

Freer, W. E., Esq. 

Garnett, Richard, Esq., British Museum. 

Gayangos, Don Pascuel de, Madrid. 

Gladdish, William, Esq., Gravesend. 

Glasgow College. 

Goodenough Capt. J. G., R.N., F.R.G.S., 43, St. Gcorge's-squarc, S.W. 


Grey, R. W., Esq., 47, Belgrave-square. 

Griffith, and Farran, JNIessrs., 21, Ludgate-street. 

Grinnell, Cornelius, Esq., F.R.G.S., 180, Piccadilly. 

Guise, W. v., Esq., Elmore-court, Gloucester. 

Hall, Rear Admiral, C.B., 48, Phillimore-gardens, Campden Ilill. 

Harcourt, Egerton, Esq., Whitwell Park, York. 

Hardinge, Captain E., R.N., F.R.G.S., 32, Hyde Park Square. 

Harker, Turner James, Esq., 10, Northampton Park, Islington. 

Harris, Captain H., 35, Gloucester-terrace, Bayswater. 

Hawkins, Edward, Esq., 6, Lower Berkeley-street, Portman- square. 

Herold, A. L., Rue Richelieu, 67, Paris. 

Hodgkin, Thomas, Esq., M.D., 35, Bedford-square. 

HoUond, R., Esq , 64, Cumberland-street. 

Holmes, James, Esq., 4, New Ormond-street, Foundling. 

Home Office (The), Whitehall. 

Horner, Rev. J. S. H., Wells Park, Somersetshire. 

Hull Subscription Library. 

India Office, 20 cojoies. 

Johnson, W., Esq., R.N., F.R.G.S., North Grove House, Southsea. 

Jones, J. Winter, Esq., F.S.A., British Museum. 

Jones, W. Bence, Esq., Lisselan, co. Cork. 

Kaye, John W., Esq., India Office. 

Kellett, Rear-Admiral, C.B., Clonacody, Clonmel. 

Kennedy, Robert Lenox, Esq., New York. 

Lavradio, His Excellency the Count de, 12, Gloucester-pl., Portman -sq. 

L'Ecole Normale, Montreal. 

Lee, George, Esq., 15, Piccadilly. 

Lenox, J., Esq., New York. 

Lilford, Lord, Lilford Hall, Oundle, Northamptonshire. 

Liverpool Free Public Library. 

Logan, A. J., Esq., Singapore. 

London Institution, Finsbury Circus. 

London Library, 12, St. James's-square. 

Lott, Capt. E. G., 159, Parliament-street, Liverpool. 

Lowe, Right Hon. Robert, M.P., 34, Lowndes-square. 

Loyes, Edw., Esq., 33, Paternoster-row. 

Lynch, Thomas Kerr, Esq., 31, Cleveland-square, W. 

M'Calmont, Robert, Esq., 87, Eaton-square. 

Mackenzie, John W., Esq., Edinburgh. 

McClintock, Capt. Sir Leopold, R.N., F.R.G.S., Z/.J/.aS'. xlurora. 

IMacready, W. C, Esq., Slierborne House, Dorset. 

j\Iadras Literary Society. 

Maguire, Captain Rochfort, R.N., 11. M.S. Galatea. 

Major, II. II., Esq., F.S.A., British Museum. 

Malcolm, W. Elphinstone, Esq., Burnfoot, Langholm, Carlisle. 

Mantell, Walter, Esq., New Zealand. 

1 1 

Markham, Clements R., Esq., 2], Eccleston-square, S.W. 

Massie, Admiral T. L., R.N., Chester. 

Melbourne, Public Library of, per Mr. Guillaume. 

Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey, K.C.B., F.R.S.,&c., 16, Belgrave-square. 

Murphy, Hon. C. IL, New York. 

Murray, John, Esq., F.R.G.S., Alberaarle-street. 

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Literary and Scientific Institute. 

New York State Library. 

Nicholson, Sir Charles, Bart., F.R.G.S., 19, Portland-place, W. 

Norris, Edwin, Esq., Sec. Asiatic Society, 5, New Burlington-street. 

Oriental Club, Hanover- square. 

Osborn, Captain Sherard, R.N., C.B., F.R.G.S., HJl.S. Royal ^:overe'vjn. 

Ouvry, F., Esq., F.S.A., 66, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

Paine, W. Dunkley, Esq., Cockshutt Hill, Reigate. 

Peabody Institute, Baltimore, U.S. 

Peacock, George, Esq., Starcross, near Exeter. 

Peacock, Septimus, Esq., Alexandria. 

Pennsylvania Historical Society. 

Perry, Sir Erskiue, 36, Eaton-place. 

Petit, Rev. J. Louis, The Uplands, ShifFnal. 

Petit, Miss, 9, New-square, Lincoln's Inn. 

Phillimore, Charles B., Esq., F.R.G.S., 25, Upper Berkeley-street. 

Plowden, W. H. Chicheley, Esq., F.R.S. 

Porcher, Captain Edwin, R.N., F.R.G.S., 50, Montague-square. 

Portland, His Grace the Duke of. 

Potts, Captain H. H., 1, Somerfield- terrace, Maidstone. 

Powis, Earl of, 45, Berkeley-square. 

Prescott, Admiral Sir Henry, K.C.B., Senior United Service Club. 

Rawlinson, Major- General SirH., K.C.B., 1, Hill-street, Berkeley-square. 

Reed, F. J., Esq., 34, Bedford-square. 

Richard, John E., Esq., Wandsworth, Surrey. 

Richardson, Sir John, M.D., F.R.S., Grasmere, Westmoreland. 

Richardson, Ralph, Esq., Cranford, Exmouth. 

Riggs, G. W., Esq., Washington, U.S. 

Royal Geographical Society, 15, Whitehall-place {copies presented) 

Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. 

Royal Society, Burlington House 

Rowsell, E. P., Esq., 29, Finsbury-circus. 

Rushout, The Hon. Miss, 26, Onslow-square, Brompton. 

Ryder, Commodore Alfred, R.N., Coast Guard Office, Admiralty. 

Rye, W. B., Esq., British Museum. 

Seymour, George, Esq., 12, Sussex-square. 

Sheffield, Earl of, 20, Portland-place. 

Simpson, Lieutenant. 

Smith, Edmund, Esq., Hull. 

Smith, George, Esq., 21, Russell-square. 

Smith, J., Esq. (Messrs. Smith and Elder.) 

Somers, Earl, 33, Princes-gate, Hyde Park. 

Sotheby, Mrs., Kingston. 

Spottiswoode, William, Esq., F.R.S., 50, Grosvenor-place. 

Stanford, jMr. E., Charing cross. 

St. Andrew's University. 

St. David's, the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of, Abergwili, Carmarthen. 

Stevens, H., Esq., Boston, United States. 

Stirling, Wm., Esq., M.P., of Keir, 128, Park-street. 

Strangford, Viscount, 58, Cumberland-street. 

Stuart, Alexander, Esq., New York. 

Stuart, R. L., Esq., New York. 

Stubbs, Commander, Edward, R.N., Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. 

Scurt, W. Neville, Esq., India Office. 

Taylor, John George, Esq., H.M. Consul at Diabekir. 

Thomas, Luke, Esq., Carlton-villa, Blackheath Park. 

Tolstoy, George, Esq., St. Petersburgh. 

Toronto University. 

Trade, the Board of, Whitehall. 

Traveller's Club, 106, Pall Mall. 

Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Trinity Corporation, Tower Hill. 

Tumour, Capt. Nicholas, R.N., II. M.S. Clio, Pacific. 

Union Society, Oxford. 

United Service Institution, Scotland Yard. 

Van de Weyer, His Excellency INI. Sylvaiu, 3, Grosvenor-square. 

Victoria Library and Reading Rooms, Hong Kong. 

Vienna Royal Imperial Library. 

Vivian, Geo., Esq., 11, Upper Grosvenor-street. 

Van Ryckevorsel, H., Consul de Venezuela, Conseiller a la Regence de 

Waite, Henry, Esq., 68, Old Broad-street. 
Wales, George Washington, Esq., Boston, U.S. 
Walpole, Lieut, the Hon. Frederick, R.N., Long Stratton, Norfolk. 
Watkinson Library, Hertford, Connecticut, U.S. 
Watts, Thomas, Esq., British Museum. 
Webb Captain John Sydney, 24, Manchester-square, W. 
Webb, William Frederick, Esq., News:ead Abbey. 
Whewell, the Rev. W., D.D., ^Alaster of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
Whiteman, J. C, Esq., Theydon Grove, Epping. 

Wilcox, R. Wilson, Esq., Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields. 
Wilkinson, John, Esq., 3, Wellington-street, Strand. 
Williams, T., Esq., Northumberland-house, Strand. 
Wilson, Edward S., Esq., Hull. 

Woodd, Basil T., Esq., M.P., Conyngham Hall, Knaresborough. 
Wright, II., Esq., Cheltenham. 
Young, Allen, Esq., R.N.R., Riversdale, Twickenham 


Cfjf ?^afelugt ^ofiftg. 





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O /^ 



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A.D. 1532-50, 


jFirst Part of jjts Chronicle of Peru, 








I -hMif- 

%^ ■ 





A.D. 1532-50, 


JFtrst Part of jjts (frijromcle erf Peru, 











Inst. F., Hon. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, etc., etc., President. 

Rear-Admiral C. R. DRINKWATRR BETHUNE, C.B.-) 

[ Vice-Presidents. 
The Rt. Hon. Sir DAVID DUN DAS, M.P. ) 

Rev. G. p. BADGKR, F.R.G.S. 

J. BARROW, Esq., F.R.S. 


Rear-Admiral R. COLLINSON, C.B. 

Sir henry ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S. 

General C. FOX. 

R. W. GREY, Esq. 



His Excellency the COUNT DE LAVRADIO. 

R. H. MAJOR, Esq., F.S.A. 




Major-General Sir HENRY C. RAWLINSON, K.C.B. 



CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM, Esq., F.S.A., Honorary Secretary. 


INTRODUCTION - - - - - - - i 

Dedication - -• - - - - -1 

Prologue - - - - - - - -4 

The Travels of Pedro de Cieza de Leon. 

Chap. I. — Which treats of the discovery of the Indies, of some other 
things which were done when they were first discovered, and of 
the present state of affairs - - - - - 11 

Chap. II. — Of the city of Panama, and of its founding, and why it is 
treated of iirst, before other matters - - - - 14 

Chap. III. — Of the ports between Panama and the land of Peru, of the 
distances between them, and of their latitudes - - - 19 

Chap. IV. — Describes the navigation as far as the Callao of Lima, 
which is the port of the City of the Kings - - - 22 

Chap. V. — Of the ports and rivers on the coast, from the City of the 
Kings to the province of Chile, and their latitudes, with other matters 
connected with the navigation of these seas - - - 27 

Chap. VI. — How the city of San Sebastian was founded in the bay of 
Uraba ; and of the native Indians in that neighbourhood - 32 

Chap. VII. — How the barb is made so poisonous, with which the Indians 
of Carthagena and Santa IMartha have killed so many Spaniards 38 

Chap. VIII. — Li which other customs of the Indians subject to the city 
of Uraba are described - - - - - - 39 


Chap. IX. — Of the road between the city of San Sebastian and the city 
of Antioquia, and of the wild beasts, forests, rivers, and other things 
in tlie way ; and liow and in what season it can be passed - 40 

Chap. X. — Of the grandeur of the mountains of Abibe, and of the 
admirable and useful timber which grows there - - 43 

Chap. XI. — Of the cacique Nutibara, and of his territory : and of 
other caciques subject to the city of Antioquia - - 46 

Chap. XII. — Of the customs of these Indians, of their arms, and of 
the ceremonies they perform ; and who the founder of the city of 
Antioquia was - - - - - - -49 

Chap. XIII. — Of the description of the province of Popayan, and the 
reason why the natives of it are so wild, and those of Peru so gentle 54 

Chap. XIV. — Containing an accomit of the road between the city of 
Antioquia and the town of Anzerma, and of the region which lies 
on either side of it - - - - - - 56 

Chap. XV. — Of the customs of the Indians of this land, and of the forests 
that must be traversed in order to reach the town of Anzerma - 59 

Chap. XVI. — Of the customs of the Caciques and Indians in the 
neighbourhood of the town of Anzerma, of the founding of that town, 
and who its founder was - - - - - 62 

Chap. XVII. — Concerning the provinces and towns between the city of 
Antioquia and the town of Arma ; and of the customs of the natives 66 

Chap. XVIII. — Of the province of Arma, of the customs of the natives, 
and of other notable things - - - - - 69 

Chap. XIX. — The sacrifices offered up by these Indians, and what 
great butchers they are in the matter of eating human flesh - 71 

Chap. XX. — Of the province of Paucura, and of the manners and 
customs of the natives - - - - - - 74 

Chap. XXI. — Of the Indians of Pozo, and how valiant they are, and 
how dreaded by the neighbouring tribes - - - 76 

Chap. XXII. — Of the province of Picara, and of the chiefs of it 80 

Chap. XXIII. — Of the province of Carrapa, and of what there is to be 
said concerning it - - - - - - 82 

Chap. XXIV. — Of the province of Quinbaya, and of the customs of 
the chiefs. Also concerning the foundation of the city of Cartago, 
and who was its founder - - - - - 85 


Chap. XXV. — In which the subject of the precaling chapter is con- 
tinued ; respecting what relates to the city of Cartago, and its founda- 
tion, and respecting the animal called cJiucha - - - 90 

Chap. XXVI. — Which touches upon the provinces in this great and 
beautifid valley, up to the city of Cali - - - - 9;3 

Chap. XXVII. — Of the situation of the city of Cali, of the Indians in 
its vicinity, and concerning the fovmder - - - 99 

Chap. XXVIII. — Of the villages and cliiefs of Indians who are within 
the jurisdiction of this city of Cali - - - - 100 

Chap. XXIX. — In which the matter relating to the city of CaU is con- 
cluded ; and concerning other Indians inhabiting the mountains near 
the port which they call Buenaventm-a - - - - 10-i 

Chap. XXX. — In which the road is described from the city of Cali to 
that of Popayan, and concerning the villages of Indians that lie 
between them ------- 107 

Chap. XXXI. — Concerning the river of Santa Martha, and of the 
things which are met with on its banks - - , - 1 1 1 

Chap. XXXII. — In which the account of the villages and chiefs subject 
to the city of Popayan is concluded ; and what there is to be said 
imtil the boundary of Popayan is passed - - - 111 

Chap. XXXIII. — In which an account is given of what there is between 
Popayan and the city of Pasto ; and what there is to be said concern- 
ing the natives of the neighbouring districts - - - 118 

Chap. XXXIV. — In which the account of what there is in this country 
is concluded, as far as the boundary of Pasto - - - 122 

Chap. XXXV. — Of the notable fountains and rivers in these pro- 
vinces, and how they make salt of good quahty by a very curious 
artifice ..._-.- 124 

Chap. XXXVI. — "Wliich contains the description and appearance of 
the kingdom of Peru from the city of Quito to the town of La Plata, 
a distance of more than seven hundred leagues - - 128 

Chap. XXXVII. — Of the \illages and provinces between the town 
of Pasto and the city of Quito - - - - -131 

Chap. XXXVIII. — In wliich it is stated who were the Kings Yncas, 
and how they ruled over Peru ----- 135 

Chap. XXXIX. — Of other villages and buildings between Caraugue 


and the city of Quito : and of tlie robbery which the people of Otabalo 
are said to have committed on those of Caxangue - - 137 

Chap. XL. — Of the situation of the city of San Francisco del Quito, of 
its foimdation, and who it was who founded it - - 140 

Chap. XLI. — Concerning the villages beyond Quito as far as the royal 
palaces of Tumebamba, and of some customs of the natives - 1-45 

Chap. XLII. — Of the other villages between Llacta-cimga and Rio- 
bamba ; and of what passed between the Adelantado Don Pedro de 
Alvarado and the Marshal Don Diego de AhnagTO - - 153 

Chap. XLIII. — "Which treats of what there is to be said concerning the 
other Indian villages as far as the buildings of Tumebamba - 160 

Chap. XLIV. — Concerning the grandeur of the rich palaces of Tume- 
bamba, and of the province of the Caiiaris - - - 164 

Chap. XLV. — Concerning the road which leads from the province of 
Quito to the coast of the South Sea, and the bounds of the city of 
Puerto Viejo - - - - - - -170 

Chap. XLVI. — In which an account is given of certain things relating 
to the province of Puerto Viejo ; and also concerning the equinoctial 
line -------- 172 

Ch.\p. XLVII. — Treating of the question whether the Intlians of this 
province were conquered by the Yncas or not ; and concerning the death 
which they inflicted on certain captains of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui 177 

Chap. XLVIII. — How these Indians were conquered by Iluayna 
Ccapac, and how they conversed with the devil, sacrificed to him, and 
buried women ahve with the bodies of their chiefs - - 179 

Chap. XLIX.— - - 181 

Chap. L. — How in ancient tunes the Indians of Manta worshipped an 
emerald as their God ; and of other things concerning these Indians 182 

Ch.vp. LI. — In which the account of the Indians of Puerto Viejo is 
finished ; and concerning the founding of that city, and who was its 
founder ...--.. \SQ 

Chap. LII. — Of the wells which there are at the jwint of Santa Elena ; 
(if tlie story they tell respecting the arrival of giants in those i^arts; 
and of the tar whieli is found there - - . . ISH 


Chap. LIV.' — Concerning the foundation of the city of (luayaquil ; and 
how certain of the natives put the captains of Huayna Ccapac to 
death - - - - - - - - 192 

Chap. LIV. — Of the island of Puna, and of that of La Plata; and 
concerning the admirable root called sarsaparilla, which is so useful for 
all diseases - - - - - - - 11)<S 

Chap. LVI. — How the city of Santiago de Guayaquil was founded and 
settled, of some Indian villages which are subject to it, and concerning 
other things until its boundary is passed - - - 2(Jl 

Chap. LVII. — Of the Lidian villages between the buildings of Tume- 
bamba and the city of Loxa, and concerning the founding of that 
city -------- 2U4 

Chap. LVIII. — Concerning the provinces between Tamboblanco and 
the city of San Migxiel, the first city founded by the Christian 
Spaniards in Peru ; and what there is to be said of the natives - 209 

Chap. LIX. — In wliich the narrative is continued down to the founda- 
tion of the city of San Miguel, and who was the founder. Also of the 
difference of the seasons in this kingdom of Peru, which is a notable 
thing ; and how it does not rain along the whole length of these plains, 
which are on the coast of the South Sea - - - 212 

Chap. LX. — Concerning the road which the Yncas ordered to be made 
along these coast valleys, with buildings and depots like those in the 
mountains ; and why these Indians are called Yuncas - - 210 

Chap. LXI. — How these Yuncas were very supei'stitious, and how they 
were divided into nations and hneages - - - - 219 

Chap. LXII. — How the Indians of these valleys and of other parts of 
the coimtry believe that souls leave the bodies, and do not die ; and 
why they desired theii' wives to be buried with them - -'221 

Chap. LXIII. — How they buried their dead, and how they mom-ned 
for them, at the performance of their obsequies - - 225 

Chap. LXIV.— - - - - - - - 230 

Chap. LXV. — How they have a custom of naming children, in most of 
these provinces, and how they sought after sorceries and charms 230 

Chap. LXVI. — Of the fertility of the land in these coast valleys, and 

• See note at page 192. 


of the many fruits and roots they contain. Also concerning their 
excellent system of irrigating the fields - - - - 233 

Chap. LXVII.— Of the road from San INIiguel to Truxillo, and of the 
valleys between those cities ... - - 238 

Chap. LXVIII. — In which the same road is followed as has been treated 
of in the former chapter, until the city of Truxillo is reached - 2-iO 

Chap. LXIX.— Of the founding of the city of Truxillo, and who was 
the founder ------- 244 

Chap. LXX. — Of the other valleys and villages along the coast road, 
as far as the City of the Kings ----- 245 

Chap. LXXL— Of the situation of the City of Kings, of its founding, 
and who was the founder . - . . - 248 

Chap. LXXII. — Of the valley of Pachacamac, and of the very ancient 
temple in it, and how it was reverenced by the Yncas - - 251 

Chap. LXXIII. — Of the valleys between Pachacamac and the fortress 
of Huarco, and of a notable thing which is done in the valley of 
Huarco ------- 255 

Chap. LXXIV. — Of the great province of Cliincha, and how much it 
was valued in ancient times ----- 260 

Chap. LXXV. — Of the other valleys, as far as the province of Tara- 
paca .------- 263 

Chap. LXXVI. — Of the founding of the city of Arequijia, how it was 
founded, and who was its founder . - . - 267 

Chap. LXXVIL— In which it is declared how that, beyond the pro- 
vince of Huancabamba, there is that of Caxamarca, and other large 
and very populous provinces ----- 269 

Chap. LXXVIII. — Of the foundation of the city of the frontier, who was 
its fovmder, and of some customs of the Indians in the province - 277 

Chap. LXXIX. — Which treats of the foundation of the city of Leon de 
Iluanuco, and who was its founder . . - - 282 

Chap. LXXX. — Of the situation of this city, of the fertiUty of its 
fields, and of the customs of its inhabitants ; also concerning a beauti- 
ful edifice or palace of the Yncas at Iluaiuico - - - 283 


Chap. LXXXI. — Of what there is to be said concerning the country 
from Caxamarca to the valley of Xauxa ; and of the district of (4ua- 
niachuco, which borders on Caxamarca - - - - 2H7 

Chap. LXXXII. — In which it is told how the Yncas ordered that the 
storehouses should be well provided, and how these were kept in 
readiness for the troops ..... 290 

Chap. LXXXIII. — Of the lake of Bombon, and how it is supposed to 
be the source of the great river of La Plata ... 294 

Chap. LXXXIV. — Which treats of the valley of Xauxa, and of its 
inhabitants, and relates how great a place it was in times past - 297 

Chap. LXXXV. — In which the road is described from Xauxa to the 
city of Guamanga, and what there is worthy of note on the road 301 

Chap. LXXXVI. — Wliich treats of the reason why the city of Gua- 
manga was founded, its provinces having been at first partly under the 
jurisdiction of Cuzco, and partly under that of the City of the 
Kings ..---... 304 

Chap. LXXXVII. — Of the founding of the city of Guamanga, and 
who was its founder ...... 307 

Chap. LXXXVIII. — In which some things are related concerning the 
natives of the districts near this city - - - - 310 

Chap. LXXXIX. — Of the great buildings in the province of Vilcas, 
which are beyond the city of Guamanga - - - 312 

Chap. XC. — Of the province of Andahuaylas, and what is to be seen as 
far as the valley of Xaquixaguana - - - - 31.'^ 

Chap. XCI. — Of the river of Apurimac, of the valley of Xaquixaguana, 
of the causeway which passes over it, and of what else there is to 
relate until the city of Cuzco is reached - - - 319 

Chap. XCII. — Of the manner in which the city of Cuzco is built, of 
the four royal roads which lead from it, of the grand edifices it con- 
tained, and who was its founder . . . . 322 

Chap. XCIII. — In which the things of this city of Cuzco are described 
more in detail -.--.-- 330 

Chap. XCIV. — Wliich treats of the valley of Yucay and of the strong 
fortress at Tambo, and of part of the province of Cunti-suyu - 331 


Chap. XCV. — Of the forests of the Andes, of theii" great thickness, of 
the huge snakes wliich are bred in them, and of the evil customs of the 
Indians who live in the interior of these forests - - 336 

XoTE TO Chap. XCV. — On the river Funis, a tributary of the Amazon. 
By Mr. Richard Spruce - - - - - 339 

Chap. XCVI. — How the Indians carry herbs or roots in their mouths, 
and concerning the herb called coca, which they raise in many parts 
of this kingdom _..-.. 352 

Chap. XCVII. — Of the road from Cuzco to the city of La Paz ; and of 
the villages, until the Indians called Canches are passed - 353 

Chap. XCVIII.— Of the provinces of Canas, and of Ayavire - 356 

Chap. XCIX. — Of the great district which is inhabited by the 
Collas^ of the appearance of the land where their villages are built, 
and how the Mitimaes were stationed to supply them with pro^n- 
sions -------- 359 

Ch.vp. C. — Of what is said concerning the origin of these Collas, of 
their appearance, and how they buried their dead - - 362 

Chap. CI. — How these Indians perform their annual ceremonies, and of 
the temples they had in ancient times - - - - 366 

Chap. CII. — Of the ancient ruins at Pucara, of the former greatness of 
Hatun-coUa, of the village called Azangaro, and of other things which 
are here related - - - - - - 368 

Chap. CHI. — Of the great lake which is within the province of the 
Collao, of its depth, and of the temple of Titicaca - - 370 

Chap. CIV. — In wluch the narrative continues, and the villages are 
described as far as Tiahuanaco - - - - - 372 

Chap. CV.— Of the village of Tiahuanaco, and the great and ancient 
edifices which are to be seen there - - - - 374 

Chap. CVL— Of the founding of the city called of Oiu- Lady of Peace, 
who was its founder, and of the road thence to the town of Plata 380 

Chai'. evil. — Of the founding of the town of Plata, which is situated 
in tlie province of Charcas - - - - - 382 


CiiAP. CVIII. — Of tlie riches in Porco, and how there are large veins 
of silver near that town . . . . . 335 

Chap. CIX. — How they discovered the mines of Potosi, whence they 
have taken riches such as have never been seen or heard of in other 
times ; and how, as the metal does not run, the Indians get it by the 
invention of the huayras . . _ . . ggC 

Chap. CX. — There was the richest market in the world at this hill of 
Potosi, at the time when these mines were prosperous - - 390 

Chap. CXI. — Of the sheep, hnanacus, and vicunas^ which they have 
in most parts of the mountains of Peru . _ . 392 

Chap. CXII. — Of a tree called molle, and of other herbs and roots in 
this kingdom of Peru ------ 395 

Chap. CXIII. — How there are large salt lakes and baths in this 
kingdom ; and how the land is suited for the growth of olives 
and other fruits of Spain, and for some animals and birds of that 
country ------- 399 

CiiAP. CXIV. — IIow the native Indians of tliis kingdom were great 
masters of the arts of working in silver and of buUding : and how 
they had excellent dyes for their fine cloths - - - 403 

Chap. CXV. — How there are great mines in most parts of this king- 
dom -------- 406 

Chap. CXVI. — How many nations of these Indians make war one upon 
the other, and how the lords and chiefs oppress the poorer people 407 

Chap. CXVII. — In which certain things are declared concerning the 
Indians ; and what fell out between a clergyman and one of them, in 
a village of this kingdom - - - - -411 

Chap. CXVIII. — How, when a chief near the to\vn of Anzerma wished 
to become a Christian, he saw the devils visibly, who wished to deter 
him from his good intention by their terrors - - - 415 

Chap. CXIX.— How mighty wondei-s have been clearly seen in the 
discovery of these Indies, how our Sovereign Lord God desires to watch 
over the Spaniards, and how He chastises those who are cruel to the 
Indians ------- 41S 

Chap. CXX.— Of the dioceses in this kingdom of Peru, who are the 


bishops of them, and of the Royal Chancellery in the City of the 
Kings -------- 424 

Chap. CXXI. — Of the monasteries which have been founded in Pern, 
from the date of its discovery down to the present year 1550 - 426 

Index -------- 429 


The work of Pedro de Cieza de Leon is, in many 
respects, one of the most remarkable literary produc- 
tions of the age of Spanish conquest in America, Written 
by a man who had passed his life in the camp from early 
boyhood, it is conceived on a plan which would have 
done credit to the most thoughtful scholar, and is exe- 
cuted with care, judgment, and fidelity. But before 
examining the work itself, I will give some account of 
its author — of whom, however, little is known, beyond 
what can be gathered from his own incidental state- 
ments in the course of his narrative. 

Cieza de Leon is believed to have been born in the 
year 1519 in the city of Seville, where he passed the 
first fourteen years of his life. It has been conjectured 
that his father was a native of Leon,^ in the north of 
Spain, but absolutely nothing is known of his parent- 

In 1532, at the extraordinarily early age of fourteen, 
young Pedro embarked at Seville, and set out to seek 
his fortunes in the New World. At that time scarcely 
a year elapsed without seeing an expedition fitted out, 

^ Don Pascual de Gaj-ango.s is inclined to this opinion. 



to undertake some new discovery or conquest. Seville 
and Cadiz were crowded with adventurers, all eagerly 
seeking for a passage to that marvellous land beyond 
the setting sun. It was, indeed, a time of wild excite- 
ment. Every ship that returned from the Indies might, 
and not a few did, bring tidings of the discovery of 
new and powerful empires before undreamt of Peoj)le 
of all ages and of every grade in society flocked to the 
sea ports, and took ship for the Indies ; excited beyond 
control by the accounts of those inexhaustible riches 
and fabulous glories, which penetrated to every village 
in Spain. Among the leaders of these expeditions 
there were some honoural;)le knights, with courteous 
manners and cultivated minds, such as Diego de Alva- 
rado, Garcilasso de la Vega, and Lorenzo de ALlana.^ 
But the majority were either coarse and avaricious 
adventurers, or disappoined courtiers, like that 3^oung 
scamp Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman, whom I intro- 
duced to the notice of the Hakluyt Society in 1862. 
Cieza de Leon, at the time of his embarkation, was a 
mere boy, too young to be classed under any of these 
heads. His character was destined to be formed in a 
rouo-h and savao;e school, and it is most remarkable that 
SO fine a fellow as our author really was, should have been 
produced amidst the horrors of the Spanish American 
conquest. Humane, generous, full of noble sympathies, 
observant, and methodical ; he was bred amidst scenes 
of cruelty, pillage, and wanton destruction, which were 
calculated to produce a far different character. Con- 
sidering the circumstances in which he was placed from 

' See notes at pag-es 157 and 123. 


early boyhood, his book is certainly a most extraordi- 
nary, as well as an inestimable result of his labours 
and military services. 

It does not appear in what fleet our boy soldier set 
out from Spain; but judging^ from the date, and from 
the company in which we find him immediately on 
landing in America, I consider it more than probable 
that he sailed from his native land in one of the ships 
which formed the expeditionary fleet of Don Pedro de 

Heredia, who had already served with distinction 
on the coast of Tierra Firme, had obtained a grant of 
the government of all the country, between the river 
Maojdalena and the gulf of Darien, from Charles V. 
He was a native of Madrid, where, having had his 
nostrils slit in a street brawl, he had killed three of the 
men who had treated him with this indignity. Forced 
to leave his native country, he took refuge in San 
Domingo, and a relation had interest enough to get 
him appointed as lieutenant to Garcia de Lerma, in an 
expedition to Santa Martha ; whence he returned to 
Spain. He was a man of considerable ability, judg- 
ment, and determination, was respected by his own 
followers, and had already had some experience in 
Indian warfare. His lieutenant was Francisco de 
Cesar, one of the most dashing officers of the time.^ 

Heredia s expedition, which consisted of one galleon 
and two caravels, carrying in all about a hundred men, 

* Cesar bad been \vitb Sebastian Cabot, in bis expedition to 
tbe moutb of the Rio de la Plata ; and joined Heredia at the 
island of Puerto Rico. See page 47, and note. 



sailed from Cadiz in the end of 1532. They first 
touched at San Domingo, where Heredia took on board 
more recruits, forty-seven horses, and some leathern 
cuirasses, which had been prepared as a protection 
against the poisoned arrows of the Indians. On the 
14th of January 1533 the expedition entered the bay 
of Carthagena,-^ on the main land of South America, 
where the disembarkation of the Spaniards was bravely 
contested by the natives. In no part of Spanish Ame- 
rica did the Indians more resolutely defend their 
homes, than along the coast of the Tierra Firme, as it 
was called ; and young Cieza de Leon saw some very 
rough service on his first landing in the new world. 
Eventually Heredia succeeded in founding the city of 
Carthagena, of which he was the first governor, and in 
establishing a firm footing in the surrounding country : 
and for some three or four years the future author con- 
tinued to serve under him. In 1535 Cieza de Leon 
accompanied Heredia's brother Alonzo to the gulf of 
Darien or Uraba, where a settlement was formed called 
San Sebastian de Buena Vista. 

Meanwhile, a judge, named Pedro Yadillo, was 
sent to Carthagena to examine into the ^proceedings of 
Heredia, with full powers from the Audiencia of 
San Domingo ; and he threw the governor into })rison. 
His violent proceedings were disapproved in Spain, 
and another lawyer was sent out to sit in judgment 
on the judge. The licentiate Vadillo, who seems to 

' Herrera says that Heredia gave the name of Carthagena to 
the bay ; but in reality the place had alread}^ received that name, 
either from Ojeda or Bastidas. 


have been better fitted for a soldier than for a j udge, 
resolved to perform some service, or make some dis- 
covery in the interval, the importance of which, in a 
military point of view, should secure oblivion for his 
misconduct as a lawyer. He, therefore, organised a 
force of four hundred Spaniards at San Sebastian de 
Uraba, and, setting out early in 1538, crossed the moun- 
tains of Abibe, and advanced up the valley of the Cauca. 

Cieza de Leon, then in his nineteenth year, accom- 
panied Vadillo in this bold adventure as a private 
soldier. It was now upwards of five years since he 
first landed in the new world, the whole of which 
time had been spent by him in severe and dangerous 
service in the province of Carthagena. At an age 
when most boys are at school, this lad had been 
sharing in all the hardships and perils of seasoned 
veterans ; and even then he w^as gifted with powers of 
observation far beyond his years, as is proved by his 
very interesting account of the Indians of Uraba. -^ 
Amongst other things he tells us that the women of 
Uraba are the prettiest and most loveable of any that 
he had seen in the Indies. 

The expedition of Vadillo w\as one of those despe- 
rate undertakings which, common as they were in 
the history of those times, still fill us with astonish- 
ment. Young Cieza de Leon took his share in the 
dangers and privations which were encountered, and 
which none but men endowed with extraordinary 
bravery and fortitude could have overcome. 

After marching over a low forest covered plain, the 

^ See pages 35 to 40. 


explorers had to cross the mountains of Abibe, "where 
the roads were assuredly most difficult and wearisome, 
while the roots were such that they entangled the feet 
of both men and horses. At the highest part of the 
mountains there was a very laborious ascent, and a 
still more dangerous descent on the other side." At 
this point many of the horses fell over the precipices 
and were dashed to pieces, and even some of the men 
w^ere killed, while others were so much injured that 
they were left behind in the forests, awaiting their 
deaths in great misery. On one occasion our young 
soldier was posted as a sentry on the banks of a stream 
whence some kind of centipede dropped from a branch, 
and bit him in the neck. He adds that he passed the 
most painful and wearisome night be ever experienced 
in his life. At length Vadillo's gallant little band 
completed their march over the terrible mountains of 
Abibe, and entered the pleasant valleys ruled by the 
cacique Nutibara. Thence the bold licentiate marched 
up the valley of the Cauca. 

In this march the Spaniards suffered terribly from 
want of proper food, the difficulties of the road, and 
the constant attacks of the Indians. They clamoured 
for a retreat to the coast, but this did not suit the 
views of Vadillo, who knew that imprisonment pro- 
bably awaited him at Carthagena ; and, when the dis- 
content of his men became formidable, he drew his 
sword and rushed alone into the woods, crying out 
that, let who would go back, he should press on till he 
met with better fortune. The troops were ashamed 
to desert him, and eventually they reached Call, in 


the upper part of the Cauca valley. Here at length 
he was abandoned by all his followers, and went ou 
almost alone to Popayan, whence he returned to 
Spain. ^ 

The followers of Vadillo joined those of Lorenzo de 
Aldana,^ who was then governing Popayan for Pizarro, 
and many of them returned down the valley of the 
Cauca again with an officer named Jorge de Roljledo, 
who was commissioned to conquer and settle the 
country discovered by Vadillo. Among this number 
was our author, who witnessed the subjugation of the 
cannibal tribes of the Cauca, the foundation of several 
so-called cities, and the perpetration of much cruelty. 
He received a repartimiento of Indians in the pro- 
vince of Arma, for his services. Robledo returned to 
Spain, and came back with the title of marshal, and 
the grant of the government of a country with ill- 
defined limits, in 1546. The fierce and unscrupulous 
Sebastian de Belalcazar was then governor of Popayan. 
He claimed the territory which Robledo had occu- 
pied, and when that officer refused to retire, he sur- 
prised him at a place called Picara on the 1st of 
October, 1546, took him prisoner, and hung him, in 
spite of the entreaties of the unfortunate knight to be 
beheaded like a gentleman.^ The cannibal Indians 
are said to have eaten the body. Cieza de Leon, who 
had served under Robledo for several years, makes the 
folio win o' remark on his death, in recapitulating the 
fate which overtook all the conquerors who were 

' AcosUi, Descuhrinueuto de la Neuva Granada, cap. xiv, p. 2-31. 
- See note p. 123. ^ See p. 79, and note. 


cruel to the natives : " The marshal Don Jorge Eo- 
Lledo consented to allow great harm to be done to the 
Indians in the province of Pozo, and caused many to be 
killed with cross-bows and dogs. And God permitted 
that he should be sentenced to death in the same 
place, and have for his tomb the bellies of Indians."^ 
Our young author joined the service of Belalcazar, on 
the death of Eobledo. 

Cieza de Leon began to write a journal of some 
kind, which formed the material for his future work, 
in the year 1541 at Cartago, in the Cauca valley, when 
serving under Robledo. He tells us that "as he 
noted the many great and strange things that are to 
be seen in this new world of the Indies, there came 
upon him a strong desire to write an account of some 
of them, as well those which he had seen with his ow^n 
eyes, as those he had heard of from persons of good 
repute."^ He was then twenty-two years of age, and 
from that time he seems to have persevered, in spite 
of many difficulties, in keeping a careful record of all 
he saw and heard. " Oftentimes," he says, " when the 
other soldiers were reposing, I was tiring myself by 
writing. Neither fatigue, nor the ruggedness of the 
country, nor the mountains and rivers, nor intolerable 
hunger and suffering, have ever been sufficient to 
obstruct my two duties, namely writing and following 
my flag and my captain without fault.'"^ 

In 1547 the President Gasca landed in Peru, and 
marched against Gonzalo Pizarro, who was in open 
rebellion at Cuzco. All loyal officers were called upon 

' See p. 422. ^ Page 15. ^ Page 8. 


to join the royal standard, and troops at Popayan were 
hurried south with this object. Cieza de Leon, now 
a stout young man at arms, was among them.^ By 
this time he was a veteran of sixteen years service, 
with his intellect matured and sharpened in a rough 
and trying school, and every faculty on the alert. 
His habit of careful observation with a fixed ol)ject, 
and the practical life he was leading, render his re- 
marks, on all he saw during this march, of the greatest 
value. Mr. Prescott says of him that " his testimony, 
always good, becomes for these events of more than 
usual value." ^ The reinforcements from Popayan 
marched by Pasto and Quito to Tumebamba, then 
down to the sea-shore, and along the coast to Lima, 
then across the Andes again, by Xauxa and Guamanga, 
until they joined the army of the president Gasca in 
the valley of Andahuaylas. 

Thus Cieza de Leon had the opportunity of seeing 
a very extensive and varied tract of country. Nothing- 
escaped his observation. The ruins of j^alaces and 
store-houses, the great Ynca roads, the nature of the 
country, the products, the natural phenomena, the 
method of irrigation, the traditions, — all were carefully 
noted down by this indefatigable and intelligent 
young observer. He was present at the fiual rout 
of Gonzalo Pizarro, and at the subsequent trial and 
execution of that chief, and of his fierce old lieutenant 
Carbajal.^ He afterwards went to Cuzco, and to the 
valleys to the eastward, and, in the year 1549, he 

' Page 151. ^ CoiKjucsf uf Peru, ii^,J^. oG5, (note). 

' Paofe 362. 


uiKlertook a journey to tlie silver-yiekling province of 
Cliarcas, with the sole object "of learning all that 
was worthy of notice,"^ under the special auspices of 
the President Gasca himself, who supplied him with 
letters of introduction. In travelling over the Collao, 
and along the shores of lake Titicaca, he tells us that 
" he stopped to write all that deserved mention con- 
cerning the Indians;" 2 and at Tiahuanaco "he wandered 
over all the ruins, writing down what' he saw."^ He 
then visited the silver mines of Porco and Potosi, and 
returned to Lima, by way of Arequipa and the coast. 
At Lima our author finished writing his notes on the 
8th of September, 1550, and sailed for Spain, after 
having passed seventeen years of his life in the 

The first part of his intended work was published 
at Seville in 1553; and the author died in about 1560. 
We may gather from his writings that he was humane 
and generous in his dealinsjs with the Indians, indio;- 
nant at the acts of cruelty and oppression which he 
was forced to witness, that he was in the habit of 
weiohiiiQf the value of conflictins^ evidence in collectiup- 
his information,^ and that fuller reliance may be placed 
on his statements, than upon those of almost any other 
writer of the period. It is very much to be regretted 
that so little is knoxMi of the life of this remarkable 
man, beyond what he incidentally tells us himself.^ 

' Page 339. ^ -p^,^^ 0^34 3 p^^^^ 3-^ 4 g^g p i;;^ 

* The fullest biographical notice of Cieza de Leon is to be 

found in Antonio, and is as follows : — 

" Pcti'us Cieza de Leon (patria an dunitaxat doinicilio incola- 

tuvc Hi.spalensis) tredceiiu fere anuorum pucr ad occideniales 


The young anther commences his first part with a 
dedication to Philip II, in which, while dwelling on the 
grandeur and importance of his subject, he modestly 
says that he, an unlearned soldier, has undertaken it, 
because others of more learning were too much occu- 
pied in the wars to write. He began to take notes 
because no one else was writing anything concerning 
what had occurred, and he reflected that "time de- 

Indos Peruanamqiie plagam transfretavit, militiamque ibi seqiiu- 
tus, plusquani septemdecim in his oris commoratns est. Fructum 
tarn longa? peregrinationis, eximium quidem, is edidit in eo libro, 
qufe prima pars est designati, an vero perfecti ab eo atque abso- 
luti operis ? Hispali apud Martinum Clementem 1553, fob, 
Antwerpiwque apud Joannem Stelzium 1554: in 8. Italica anteni 
ex interpretatione Augnstini di Gi^avaliz prodiit Romee ex officina 
Valerii Dorigii 1555 : 8. Ex qnatuor partibus, in quas fidem suam 
auctor obstrinxerat, hcec tantTim edita est, reliqnaB valde ab omni- 
bus desiderantur. In fine istius hoc testatum voluit, se primam 
huic parti anno M.D.XLi in Carthagine gnibernationis ut vocant 
Popajanica?, manum admo\n.sse, postremam vero in Regia urbe 
Lima anno m.d.l. cum per id tempus duobus super triginta natus 
esset annos. Obiisse eum Hispali anno m.d.lx. vel paulo ante 
mouet in schedis ad Bibliotliecam Universalem Alfonsus Ciaconius, 
Dominicanus. Bihliotheca Hispana Nova sive Hispanonmi Scrip- 
torum, qui ah anno M.D. ad M.DC.LXXXiv^/Zontere notiUa : auctore D. 
Nlcolao Antonio Hispalensi J. G. (Madrid, 1788: ii, p. 184.) 

An author named Fernando Diaz de Valderrama, who published 
a biography of illustrious sons of Seville in 1791 (under the 
))seudonym of Fermin Arana de Valflora), transcribes the above 
notice of Antonio, without adding any new particulars. His 
work is entitled Hijos de Sevilla, ilustres en santidad, letras, armas, 
artcs, 6 dignidad. Don Enrique de Vedia, in the second volume 
of Iris Historiadores primitiros de Indias,* published at Madrid 
in 1853, also merely copies his notice of Cieza de Leon from 

* Forming part of the liihliotcca dc Aatoren Espanulcs de 


stroys the memory of events, in such sort that soon 
there is no knowledge of what has passed." In his 
prologue he gives a full and detailed account of the 
four parts of his Chronicle, only the first of which has 
reached us. They were to contain respectively the 
geography, the early history, the conquest, and the civil 
wars of Peru. " The first part," he says, " treats of the 
division of the provinces of Peru, as well towards the 
sea as inland, with the longitudes and latitudes. It 
contains a description of the provinces ; an account of 
the new cities founded by the Spaniards, with the 
names of the founders, and the time when they were 
founded ; an account of the ancient rites and customs 
of the native Indians, and other strange things very 
different from those of our country, which are worthy 
of note." It is this part, the only one that was ever 
printed, which is now placed, for the first time in a 
translated form, in the hands of Members of the 
Hakluyt Society. 

The work opens with a description of Panama ; 
wliicli is followed by a very accurate notice of all the 
anchoraojes and headlands alonoj the west coast of 
South America, from that port to the soutliern part of 
Chile. Cieza de Leon seems to have taken much pains 
in collecting accurate information for the use of future 
navigators. " I have myself," he says, " been in most of 
the ports and rivers which I have now described, and 
1 have taken much trouble to ascertain the correctness 
of what is here written, having communicated with the. 
dexterous and expert i)ilots who know the navigation 
of these ports, and who took the altitudes in my pre- 


sencc. I have taken no little trouble to ascertain the 
truth, and I have examined the new charts made by 
the pilots who discovered this sea." He appears also 
to have collected reports from mariners who had sailed 
through the straits of JMagellan, but they were lost, 
together witli other papers and journals, Avhich were 
stolen in the confusion consequent on the battle of 
Xaquixaguana.^ The sailing directions of Cieza de 
Leon for the west coast of South America are among 
the earliest attempts of the kind. Information of the 
same sort is given in Dampier's voyages ; and these 
were the rude forerunners of the complete works of 
Admiral Fitz Eoy, and other modern surveyors. 

Having given the reader a clear idea of the coast of 
the great newly discovered empire of the Yncas, Cieza 
de Leon lands him in the gulf of Darien, and conducts 
him up the valley of the Cauca to Popayan.^ This 
portion of his narrative is the more important, because 
no other writer has since given so complete an account 
of the Cauca valley. Cieza de Leon is still the best 
authority concerning this region, notwithstanding that 
more than three hundred years have elapsed since he 
wrote. It is true that Eestrepo, in the beginning of 
this century, published a valuable memoir on Antio- 
cpiia ; and that such travellers as Cochrane, Mollien, 
and Holton have written accounts of Cali and Cartago, 
in the upper part of the valley of Cauca ; but our 
author still stands alone in having given a fuU descrip- 
tion of the whole length of this little-known valley. 
He not only describes the manners and customs of the 

' Page 27 and page 32. ^ Chapters vi to xxxii. 


aboriginal tribei=5, which all appear to have been ad- 
dicted to cannibalism, but adds many very interesting 
pieces of information, such as a notice of the different 
kinds of bees, of the various methods of obtaining 
salt, and of the prevailing forms of animal and vege- 
table life. 

From Popayan the reader is conveyed by this very 
pleasant companion along the great plateau of the 
Andes, by Pasto, Quito, and Riol.iamba, to Tume- 
bamba, and Loxa.^ Here, no-ain, as indeed throuohout 
the work, the nature of the country, the distances, the 
manners and customs of the natives, the climate, the 
staple products, and the animals to be met with, are all 
carefully noted. There are also descriptions of several 
ruined edifices, and a glowing account of the great road 
of the Yncas,^ In this section, too, there is an excellent 
general sketch of the principal geographical features of 
Peru,^ and some information respecting the origin and 
rise of the Ynca dynasty.^ 

The chapters relating to the emeralds of Manta, the 
giants on point Santa Elena, the island of Puna, and 
the city of Guayaquil, are derived from hearsay, as our 
author does not appear to have visited that part of 
the country ; but he was careful to sift his authorities, 
and to weigh their value,^ and in this, as in many 
other respects, he is far superior to most of the writers 
of his time. His chapter on the equator*" shows that 
questions of geographical science attracted the atteii- 

' Clmpters xxxvi to xliv. ^ P. 1-53, and note. 

' Chapter xxxvi. * Chapter xxxviii. 

' See p. 177. " See p. .173. 


tion of the yoniig soldier ; while his careful notes in 
connection with the absence of rain on the Peruvian 
coast,^ are evidence that he was not unmindful of the 
natural phenomena of the strange land which he was 

After traversing the valley of the Cauca, and the 
Cordillera of the Andes from Popayan to Loxa, Cieza 
de Leon descends to the Peruvian coast, and describes 
the sandy deserts, and every intervening fertile valley 
from Tumbez to Tarapaca.^ Here again we have 
interesting accounts of the manners and customs of 
tlie natives, especially of the method of burying their 
dead ; descrijDtions of ruins, of works of irrigation, and 
of the great coast road of the Yncas ; and notices of 
the fruits, trees, and animals. 

Having completed a survey of the coast valleys, 
Cieza de Leon returns to the Cordillera of the Andes, 
nnd describes the country from Caxamarca, l)y way of 
Huanuco, Xauxa, Guamanga, Andahuaylas, and Aban- 
cay, to Cuzco,^ the capital of the empire of the Yncas. 
After devoting two chapters to the city of Cuzco,"^ he 
then gives an account of the lovely valleys and in- 
terminable tropical forests to the eastward ;^ and com- 
pletes his extensive travels by a description of the 
cold region of the Collao, the shores of lake Titicaca, 
the imposing ruins of Tiahuanaco, and the silver- 
yielding provinces of Plata and Potosi. The interest 
of the latter part of this remarkable work is enhanced 

' See p. 214. - Chapters lix to Ixxvi. 

3 Chapters Lxxvii to xci. * Chapters xcii and xciii. 

^ Chapter xciv and xcv. 


by the discussion of such points in physical geography 
as the drainage of hike Titicaca, and by information 
respecting the silver mines, the animals of the llama 
tribe found in Peru, the vegetable products of the 
country, and the progress of the Indians in the arts of 
building, weaving, dying, and working in silver, stone, 
and clay. 

Such is a brief sketch of the contents of Cieza de 
Leon's chronicle. Bearing evident marks of honesty 
of purpose, and skill in the selection of materials, on 
the part of its author, it is at the same time written 
by one who examined almost every part of the empire 
of the Yncas, within a few years of the conquest. It 
is, therefore, a work of the greatest possible value to 
the student of early South American history, and has 
always stood very high as an authority, in the estimation 
of modern historians. Among these, Mr. Prescott bears 
strong testimony to the merits of Cieza de Leon.^ 

1 The following is Mr. Prescott's notice of Cieza de Leon, 
given in the second volume of the Conquest of Peru, p. 297 : — 

" Cieza de Leon is an author worthy of particular note. His 
Crnnica del Peru should more properly be styled an itinerary, or 
rather geography of Peru. It gives a minute topographical view 
of the country at the time of the conquest ; of its provinces and 
towns, both Indian and Spanish ; its flourishiug sea coasts ; its 
forests, valleys, and interminable ranges of mountains in the 
interior, with many interesting particulars of the existing popu- 
lation — their dress, manners, architectural remains, and public 
works, — while scattered here and there may be found notices of 
their early history and social polity. It is, in short, a lively 
picture of the country in its physical and moral relations, as it 
met the eye at the time of the conquest, and in that transition 
period when it was first subjected to European influences. The 
conception of n work, at so early a period, on this philosophical 


The first part of the Chronicle of Peru, by Pedro 
de Cieza de Leon, was published at Seville (folio) by 
Martin Clement in 1553. A second edition, irf duo- 
decimo, was printed at Antwerp by the famous pub- 
lisher Jean Steeltz, in 1554 ; and a third edition, 
translated into Italian by Augustino di Gravalis, 
appeared at Eome, from the press of Valerius Dorigius 
(octavo) in 1555. A copy of the first Seville edition, 

plan, reminding us of that of Malte-Brun in oui' own time — 
parva covijjonere magnis — was, of itself, indicative of great com- 
prehensiveness of mind in its author. It was a task of no little 
difficulty, where there was yet no pathway opened by the laboui'S 
of the antiquarian, no hint from the sketch-book of the traveller, 
or the measurements of the scientific explorer. Yet the distances 
from place to place are all carefully jotted down by the indus- 
trious compiler, and the bearings of the different places and their 
peculiar features are exhibited with sufficient precision, consider- 
ing the nature of the obstacles he had to encounter. The literary 
execution of the work, moreover, is highly respectable, sometimes 
even rich and picturesque ; and the author describes the grand 
and beautiful scenery of the Cordilleras with a sensibihty of its 
charms not often found in the tasteless topographer, still less 
often in the rude conqiieror. 

" The loss of the other parts of his work is much to be re- 
gTetted, considering the talent of the writer, and his opportunities 
for personal observation. But he has done enough to render us 
grateful for his labours. By the vivid dehneation of scenes and 
scenery, as they were presented fresh to his own eyes, he has 
fui'nished us with a backgi-ound to the historic picture — the 
landscape, as it were, in which the personages of the time might 
be more fitly pourtrayed. It would have been impossible to 
exhibit the ancient topography of the land so faithfully at a 
subsequent period, when old things had passed away, and the 
conqueror, breaking down the landmarks of ancient civilisation, 
had efiaced many of the features even of the physical aspect of 
the country as it existed under the elaborated culture of the 


which is in black letter, fetched £10 at Lord Stuart 
de Eothesay's sale a few years ago. 

It 'would appear that the author completed the 
second and third parts of his Chronicle before his 
death, if not the fourth, and Mr. Eich found them at 
Madrid in manuscript;^ but they have never been 
printed. The disappearance of the second part is by 
far the greatest loss that has been sustained by South 
American literature, since the burning of Bias Valera's 
manuscript, when Lord Essex sacked Cadiz. It con- 
tained an account of the government of the Yncas, 
described their customs, laws, temples, and roads, 
and related the traditions connected with their origin 
and history. There can be no doubt that it was 
written, because Cieza de Leon, in his first part, fre- 
quently refers to special passages in it for further 
information. Our author had peculiar advantages for 
writing the history of ancient Peruvian civilisation. 
He was in Peru so soon after the conquest, that he 
had opportunities of conversing with many of the ad- 
visers and generals of the greatest of the Yncas ; while 
his habits of careful observation, his caution, and his 
sound judgment on points unconnected with his reli- 
gion, rendered him more fit to record the history of 
the Yncas, than even Garcilasso de la Vega, or any 
subsequent chronicler. For these reasons the loss of 
his second part can never be sufiiciently deplored. 

Before leaving my author to the reader's judgment, 

1 Mr. Rich, of Red Lion Square, got possession of a manu- 
script of Cieza de Leon, which is described in one of his cata- 
logues as being an account of the civil wars of Peru. He sold it 
to Mr. Lenox of New York. 


it will be well to give some general idea of the great 
empire of the Yncas, as it appeared in the days when 
Cieza de Leon first gazed upon its snowy mountains, 
and at the same time to offer some account of what is 
known concerning the peoj^le who inhabited it. Such 
a sketch will form a fitting introduction to the agree- 
able chapters of the young Spaniard ; and will, I trust, 
stimulate, in some degree, the interest with which they 
will be read. 

There is scarcely any country in the world which 
presents so great a variety of aspects as that region, 
stretching from the Ancasmayu to the Maule, which 
once formed the empire of the Yncas. Within these 
wide limits there are snowy mountain peaks second 
only to the Himalayas in height ; cold plains and 
bleak hills where a tough grass is the only vegetation ; 
temperate valleys covered with corn fields and willow 
groves ; others filled with richest sub-tropical vegeta- 
tion ; vast plains forming one interminable primeval 
forest traversed by navigable rivers ; trackless sandy 
deserts ; and fertile stretches of field and fruit gar- 
den on the Pacific coast. Cieza de Leon properly 
divides this region into four great divisions : — 
the uninhabitable frozen plains and mountain peaks, 
the temperate valleys and plains which intersect the 
Andes, the great primeval forests, and the deserts and 
valleys of the coast. It is a land of surpassing gran- 
deur, and exceeding beauty. The snowy peaks of the 
Andes, upwards of twenty thousand feet above the 
sea, may be seen from the deserts of sand which fringe 
the coast, rising in their majesty from the plains, and 

c 2 


towering up into a cloudless sky. In the northern and 
central part of this Peruvian cordillera, the mountain 
ranges are broken up into profound ravines and abysses, 
producing scenery of unequalled splendour. At one 
glance of the eye a series of landscapes may here be taken 
in, representing every chmate on the globe. On the 
steep sides of one mountain are the snowy wilds and 
bleak ridges of the Arctic regions, the cold pastures of 
northern Scotland, the corn fields and groves of central 
Europe, the orange trees and vineyards of Italy, and 
the palms and sugar canes of the tropics. But it is in 
the lovely ravines which lead from the eastern slopes 
of the Andes to the virgin forests of the interior that 
nature has been most profusely decked with aU the 
charms that can please the eye, and enriched with 
overflowino; ve2:etable and mineral wealth. The forests 
here abound in those beautiful chincliona trees, the 
fragrance and beauty of whose flowers are almost for- 
gotten because of the inestimable value of their bark. 
Slender and delicate palms and tree ferns of many 
kinds, matted creepers, and giant buttressed trees 
clothe the steep hill sides ; and cascades and torrents 
unite to form rivers, whose sands sparkle with gold. 
Whether it be in these forest-covered valleys, in the 
stupendous ravines of the Cordillera, on the frozen 
heights, or amidst the sandy wildernesses of the coast,' 
the scenery is ever on a scale either of sublime gran- 
deur or of exquisite beauty. Eich, indeed, was the 
prize which the hardy comrades of Cicza de Leon won 
for the Castilian crown. 

In contemplating this glorious region, one of the 


first thoughts that naturally suggests itself is that the 
early inhabitants must have been, to a great extent, 
isolated and shut out from all intercourse with their 
neighbours, by the almost insuperable obstacles which 
the nature of the country presents to locomotion ; and 
this remark is equally applicable to every part of a 
country which is unequalled in the variety of its 
climates and of its general features. The spread of 
the empire of the Yncas is, considering all the circum- 
stances, the most remarkable occurrence in the history 
of the American race ; and one of its results was the 
destruction of all former land marks of tribe or creed, 
and the reduction of the numerous ancient nations of 
the Cordillera and the coast to one great family under 
one head, by a process not unlike that which takes 
place on the acquisition of every new province by 
modern France. Hence the great difficulty of obtain- 
ing any clear idea of the condition of the various 
tribes which inhabited Peru, at a date anterior to the 
Ynca conquests and annexations. A careful study of 
the subject, however, enables us at least to distinguish 
a few leading facts — namely that the region, which 
afterwards formed the empire of the Yncas, was origi- 
nally peopled by a number of distinct nations, speak- 
ing different languages, and slowly advancing on inde- 
' pendent paths of very gradual progress, though all 
bearing a strong family likeness to each other. I will 
briefly state what I have been able to gather respect- 
ing these aboriginal tribes, commencing with the 
Quichuas, that imperial race which eventually, under 
its renowned Yncas, swallowed up all the others. 


In tlie central part of the Peruvian Cordillera, round 
the city of Cuzco, the country consists of cool but 
temperate plains and warm genial valleys. On the 
plains there were clumps of molle trees,^ and crops of 
qiiinoa,^ ocas,^ and potatoes, while large flocks of 
llamas browsed on the coarse tufts of ychu grass. In 
the valleys the rich and abundant fields of maize were 
fringed by rows of delicious fruit trees — the chiri- 
moya,* the paccay, the palta,^ the lucuma, and the 
granadilla. This region was called in the native lan- 
guage — Quichua, and the inhabitants were Quichuas.^ 

The eventual predominance of these Quichuas may 
probably be accounted for by the superiority of the 
climate and natural conformation of their native coun- 
try. AVhile their neighbours, on the one hand, had 
to struggle painfully with the encroaching vigour of 
tropical forests, and, on the other, with the hardships 
of a sterile and half frozen alpine plateau, or with the 
isolation of small villages surrounded by trackless sandy 
deserts, the Quichuas were enjoying a warm though 
healthy climate, and reaping abundance from a fertile 
soil. They were placed in a position which was most 
advantageous for the complete development of all the 
civilisation of which that great family of mankind, to 
which they belong, are capable. 

And they attained to that degree of civilisation by' 
very slow and gradual advances. Many things, and 
especially the character of the peoj^le, lead to the belief 

1 See chapter cxii, and note at page 397. 

2 See note at p. 143. ^ Oxalis tuberosa. See note at p. 361. 
^ See note at p. 234. ^ gge note at p. 10. 

''' For a theorj'- of the derivation of this word, see note at p. 316. 


that cycles of ages must have elapsed before these 
Quichuas were in a position to establish a superiority 
over their neighbours, and assume the position of an 
imperial people. 

The Quichuas were a fine, well-developed race, of 
short stature. They were square shouldered, and 
broad chested, with small hands and feet, and a com- 
paratively large head. The hair is black and long, 
and usually plaited into numerous minute plaits, and 
they have little or no beard. The eyes are horizontal 
with arched brows, the forehead his^h but somewhat 
receding, the nose aquiline and large, the lips thick, 
cheek bones rather high, and chin small. These people 
were gentle, hospitable, and obedient. They were good 
fathers and husbands, patient, industrious, intelligent, 
and sociable, and loved to live together in villages, 
rather than in scattered huts.^ The women, when 
young, were exceedingly pretty and well shaped, 
and they held an honourable and respected place in 
society. The mass of the people were either farmers 
or shepherds. Each family had a piece of land appor- 
tioned to it by the State, often in well-built terraces up 
the sides of the mountains, on which the members 
either hoed and ploughed the soil, and raised crops of 
gourds, maize, potatoes, ocas, or quinoa ; or they 
cultivated fruit trees ; or, again, they tended flocks of 
llamas on the pasture lands, according to the situation 
of their little patrimonies. Their habitations were of 
stone or mud, covered with admirable thatched roofs,^ 
they wove warm cloth from llama wool, made eartheu- 
^ See note at page 407. ^ See page 129. 


ware and stone vessels, manufactured tasteful orna- 
ments of gold and silver, and used hoes, rakes, rude 
ploughs, and other simple agricultural implements. 

One important test of the capacity of a people for 
civilisation is their ability to domesticate animals. The 
inferiority of the African, as compared with the 
Hindu, is demonstrated by the latter having domes- 
ticated the elephant and made it the useful and hard- 
working companion of man ; while the former, during 
the thousands of years that he has inhabited the 
African continent, has never achieved any such result, 
and has merely destroyed the elephant for the sake of 
his ivory tusks. Now, in the case of the Quichuas, 
although their domesticated animals were few, they 
comprised all that were capable of domestication 
within the limits of their country. During the three 
centuries that Europeans have since been masters of 
Peru, not a single indigenous quadruped or bird has 
been added to the list. The domesticated animals of 
the Quichuas were the llama, the alpaca, a dog, the 
ccoy or guinea pig, and a duck. Besides these they 
tamed, as pets, the moiikey, the parrot, the toucan,^ 
a kind of gull frequenting the lakes of the Andes, a 
hawk, and several finches. The lUma and alpaca do 
not exist in a wild state at all, and the variety in the 
colours of their fleeces seems to be a sio^n of long 
domestication. The huanacu and vicuna, the wild 
species of their family, have fleeces of a uniform and 
unalteraljle colour, and it j^robably took an incalculable 

^ Tlic liird called by Cicza de Leon viaca, and described at 
page 175, is no doi;bt the toucan. 


period^ to change the wild into the domesticated form. 
The llama served the Quichuas as a beast of burden, 
its flesh supplied them with food, its fleece with cloth- 
incr, and its hide with thono-s and sandals. The finer 
fleece of the alpaca was reserved for the use of the 
sovereign and his nobles,^ Guinea pigs ran in hun- 
dreds about the huts, they were used as food, and the 
variety of their colours points out the length of time 
during which they had been in a domesticated state. 
The alco or dog was the companion of the Quichua 
shepherds ; and the duck was bred in their homesteads 
for food, and for the sake of the feathers, which often 
formed a fringe for the women's llicllas or mantles. 

These simple Quichua farmers and shepherds seem 
to have kept many festivals, and other observances 
handed down to them by their fathers. A half philo- 

1 Animals closely allied to the present wild forms of the llama 
tribe, namely to the hiianacu and vicuiia, wandered over the 
Cordilleras in the post-pleistocene g-eological period ; but there 
is no vestige either of the llama or of the alpaca at that remote 
epoch. Fossil remains of an animal, resembling a gigantic 
huanacu, have been found in Patagonia, and named by Professor 
Owen Macrauchemia. In 1859 a fossil skeleton of a mammal was 
produced in Bolivia by Mr. Forbes, and examined by Professor 
Huxley- It was found in one of the copper mines of Corocoro, 
and the bones are almost converted into copper, the strata in 
which it was found being highly impregnated with that metal. 
This animal has been named Macraucliemia Boliviensis. It is not 
half as large as the Patagonian species, and its proportions are 
nearly as slender as the modem vicuna, with even a lighter head. 
Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, February 1st, 1861, 
pages 47 and 73. Fossil Mammalia of the Voyage of the Beagle. 

2 See chapter cxi, and its notes, for more detailed particulars 
respecting the animals of the llama tribe. 


sopliic sun worship was enjoined by their superiors, 
but the people retained an ancient habit of deifying and 
making household gods of their llamas, their corn, and 
their fruit. Their seasons of sowing and of harvest 
were celebrated by dancing and singing, and their 
songs, some of which have been preserved, were lively 
and graceful : but the cliicha bowl flowed far too 
freely. A barbarous rite of burial was practised by 
these people in common with nearly all South Ameri- 
can tribes, and is described in many places by Cieza 
de Leon ; and they held the malquis or mummies of 
their dead in superstitious veneration. 

The productiveness of the soil and the increasing 
prosperity of the people had, in the course of time, 
given rise to a governing class of Curacas and nobles, 
to a caste of Umus and Huaca-camayocs, or priests 
and diviners, and eventually to a despotic sovereign 
or Ynca, with a privileged royal family. This upper 
class had leisure, was exempted from ordinary toil, 
acquired numerous artificial wants, and therefore gra- 
dually developed that higher civilisation in the Quichua 
nation which eventually enabled it to spread its con- 
quests over an immense region, and to consolidate a 
great and well organised empire. 

The advances in civilisation of this upper class were 
by no means contemptible. The ruins at Cuzco, and 
in the neighbourhood, bear witness to their marvellous 
skill in masonry. Their buildings were massive, indeed 
Cyclopean, Ijut the huge stones were cut and put in 
their places with extraordinary accuracy ; and, although 
the general cfl'ect is plain and sombre, there was fre- 


qiiently some attempt at ornamentation. Such were 
the rows of recesses with sides sloping inwards, the 
cornices, and the occasional serpents and other figures 
carved in relief on the stones. The roofs, though 
merely of thatch, were thick and durable, and so artis- 
tically finished as to give a very pleasing effect to the 

In the furniture of their dwellino;s and the clothino- 
of their persons the Ynca nobles had reached a high 
degree of refinement. Their pottery is especially re- 
markable, and the Peruvian potter gratified the taste 
of his employers by moulding vessels into every form 
in nature, from which he could take a model. Pro- 
fessor Wilson, who has carefully examined several col- 
lections of ancient Peruvian pottery, says — " Some of 
the specimens are purposely grotescjue, and by no 
means devoid of true comic fancy ; while, in the 
greater number, the endless variety of combinations of 
animate and inanimate forms, ingeniously rendered 
subservient to the requirements of utility, exhibit fer- 
tility of thought in the designer, and a lively percep- 
tive faculty in those for whom he wrought."^ Many 
of these vessels, moulded into forms to represent 
animals and fruits, were used as conopas or household 
gods ; others were for the service of the temjDle ; others 
for interment with the malquis or mummies, and 
others for the use of the Yncas and their nobles. The 
common people used vessels of simple form. The Yncas 
also had drinking cups of gold and silver, beaten out 
very fine, and representing llamas, or human heads. 

1 See note at p. 166. ^ Prehistoric Man, i, p. 110. 


Vessels of copper also, and plates and vases of stone 
with serpents carved round them in relief, are of fre- 
quent occurrence, as well as golden bracelets and 
breast-plates, and mirrors of silver or polished stone. 
Their knives and other cutting instruments were 
of copper, hardened with tin or silica.^ Their cloth- 
ing consisted of cloth woven from the wool of the 
llama, alpaca, and vicuna ; the latter as fine as 
silk and undyed, for its own rich chestnut colour was 
sufficiently becoming. They had attained to great 
proficiency in the art of weaving and dyeing. Taste- 
ful designs were woven in the cloth, which was dyed 
flesh colour, yellow, gray, blue, green, and black ; for 
they knew the art of fixing dyes extracted from vege- 
table substances, so that the cloth will never fade.^ 
They ornamented their robes, tunics, rugs, and blankets 
with fringes, borders of feathers, and also by sowing 
on them rows of thin gold and silver plates, sometimes 
square, at others cut into the shape, of leaves and 
flowers. They also adorned wooden seats and couches, 
by covering them with these thin plates of gold and 
silver. The interior of a hall in the palace of an Ynca 
was thus filled with articles of luxury. The great doors, 
with the sides gradually approaching, were often orna- 
mented with a cornice, and finished above with a huge 
stone lintel. The walls of solid masonry, beautifully 

1 Humboldt mentions a cutting- instrument found near Cuzco, 
wliich was composed of 0.94 parts of copper and 0.06 of tin. The 
latter metal is scarcely ever found in South America, but I 
believe there ai'e traces of it in parts of Bolivia. In some of 
the instruments silica was substituted for tin. 

2 See page 405. 


cut and polished, had small square windows,^ and deep 
recesses of the same size, at intervals. The walls were 
hung with rich vicuna cloth fringed with bezants of 
gold and silver, or with llama cloth dyed with bright 
colours, and woven into tasteful patterns. The niches 
were filled with gold and silver statues, and with vases 
moulded into the shape of llamas, birds, and fruit. The 
floors were soft with rich carpets and rugs, and the 
seats and couches were plated with gold. Numerous 
small chambers opened on the great halls, and the 
baths were fitted up with metal spouts in the form of 
serpents, from which the water flowed into stone basins.^ 

The intellectual advancement of the Quichua people 
had kept pace with the increase in their material com- 
forts ; and their religious belief, their literary culture, 
their discoveries in the sciences of astronomy and 
mechanics, and their administrative talent, if not 
of a very high order, at least prove very clearly that 
they were not incapable of attaining a respectable 
rank amongst civilised nations. During the last two 
centuries of their existence as an independent people, 
their progress was very rapid. 

The religion of the Yncas and their nobles was, as is 
well known, a worship of the celestial bodies, and es- 
pecially of the sun ; that of the cultivators and shep- 
herds a reverence for every object in nature — for their 

1 It has been stated that the ancient Pertivian buildings had 
no windows. This is a mistake. Amongst other instances I may 
mention the occiuTence of one in tlie palace of the Colcampata, 
at Cuzco. 

2 See note at page 400. 


llamas, for their corn, for their fruits, for hills and 
streams, and above all for the mcdquis or mummies of 
their dead. To all these, sacrifices of the fruits of the 
earth were made. The more spiritual worship of the 
men of leisure was combined with complicated cere- 
monial observances, gorgeous temples, and an influen- 
tial caste of priests, wise men, and virgins. The 
worship of the sun, and the great inaportance attached 
to its apparent course, as connected with the seasons 
of sowing and reaping, led to the acquirement of some 
astronomical knowledge, but there is no evidence that 
any great progress was made in this direction. The 
Chibchas of Bogota and the Aztecs of Mexico were in 
advance of the Quichuas in astronomical science. The 
Yncas knew the difference between the solar and 
lunar year, they had introduced intercalary days to 
reconcile that difi"erence, and they observed the periods 
of the solstices and equinoxes. They also watched 
and recorded the courses of some of the stars, and of 
comets. They had a complete system of numerals, 
perfectly balanced pairs of scales have been found in 
Peruvian tombs, and their administrators must have 
been in the habit of making and recording very com- 
plicated revenue accounts. Their year was divided 
into twelve months, and great periodical festivals cele- 
brated the periods of the solstices and equinoxes.^ The 

^ The year, called hnata, was divided into the following twelve 
moons or months (qullla). It commenced at the summer solstice 
on the 22nd of December with the month of 

1. Raymi or December. 

2. HuCHUY POCCOY or January, when the corn begins to ripen. 

3. Hatdn Poccoy or February, when the ripeness of the corn 


proficiency of the QuicLuas in mechanical science was 
of a high order, as is attested by their magnificent 
roads and aqueducts, and by the conveyance of Cyclo- 
pean blocks of stone for their buildings. 

The language of the Quichuas was carefully culti- 
vated during many centuries by the Haravecs or bards 
in their love ditties and songs of triumph, and by the 
Amautas or wise men, whose duty it was to preserve 
the traditions of the people, and to prepare the rituals 
for the worship of the Deity ; and their literary pro- 
ductions in prose and verse were preserved by means 
of the qiiipus. The Quichua was a highly polished 
language, and the student who may turn his attention 
to the history of the South American races, will find in 
this rich and copious tongue many ancient fragments 
of prose and poetry which will convince him of the 
civilisation of the ancient Peruvians.^ It is true that 
they had not discovered the use of letters, but it must 
be remembered that they were completely isolated and 
precluded from exchanging ideas with the other races 
of mankind. If no communication, direct or indirect, 

4. Paccaei Huanut and Paucar Huaeat or March. 

5. Arihua or April. 

6. Aymueay or May. The time of harvest. 

7. Yntip Ratmi and CusQUic Ratmi or June. 

8. Ajtta Asitua or July. The season of sowing. 

9. CcAPAC Asitua or August. 

10. Umu Ratmi or September. 

11. Ata jMaeca or October. 

12. CcAPAC Ratmi or N'ovember. 
(See Ciizco and Lima, pp. 121-26.) 

■ For further information respecting the Quichua language, 
see the introduction to my Quichua Graminar and Didionanj. 
(Triibner. 1863.) 


had existed between Phoenicia and the other countries 
of the old world, how many of them would, by 
their own unassisted genius, have discovered the use 
of letters. Would the Tamils and Canarese of India 1 
Would the Malays of the islands ? It may well be 
doubted ; and, after all, the quipus, though a clumsy, 
were not altogether an inefficient substitute.^ 

But it is in their administrative arrangements that 
the intellectual progress of the Yncas is most strik- 
ingly displayed. Theirs was the most enlightened 
despotism that ever existed. The Ynca claimed to be 
Yntip-churi or "child of sun," but his not less glorious 
title was Huaccha-cuyac or " friend of the poor." His 
duty was to superintend the comfort and happiness of 
the people, and to take care that no family was with- 
out a topu or plot of ground sufficient for his main- 
tenance. The net produce of the land was divided 
into three equal parts, one for the cultivators, the 
second for religious and charitable purposes, and the 
third for the Ynca and his government ; including 
the clothing and maintenance of the nobles, and of 
soldiers, miners, potters, weavers, and other artizans. 
Cnracas or chiefs were placed over the different dis- 
tricts, with subordinate officers under them, and a 
minute supervision was exercised over all matters 
connected with revenue and judicial administration. 
Crime was almost unknown.^ 

^ See chapter Ixxxii, and note at page 201. 

^ On this point let the last of the Spanish conquerors give his 
remorseful testimony : — 

" True confession and protestation in the hour of death by one 
of the first Spaniards, conquerors of Peru, named Marcio Sorra de 


Such were the Quichuas, the representative people 
of the Peruvian Andes. To the eastward of their 
original territory, in the virgin forests which are tra- 
versed by the tributaries of the Amazon, dwelt the 

Lejesama, with his will proved in the city of Cuzco on the 15th 
of November 1589, before Geronimo Sanchez de Quesada, public 
notary — First, before beginning my will, I declare that I have 
desired much to give notice to his Catholic Majesty king Philip, 
our lord, seeing how good a Catholic and Christian he is, and 
how zealous in the service of the Lord our God, concerning that 
which I would relieve my mind of, by reason of having taken 
part in the discovery and conquest of these countries, which we 
took from the Lords Tncas, and placed under the royal crown, a 
fact which is known to his Catholic Majesty. The said Yncas 
governed in such a way that in all the land neither a thief, nor a 
vicious man, nor a bad dishonest woman was known. The men 
all had honest and profitable employment. The woods, and 
mines, and all kinds of property were so divided that each man 
knew what belonged to him, and there were no law suits. The 
Yncas were feared, obeyed, and respected by their subjects, as a 
race very capable of governing ; but we took away their land, 
and placed it under the crown of Spain, and made them subjects. 
Your Majesty must understand that my reason for making this 
statement is to relieve my conscience, for we have destroyed this 
people by our bad examples. Crimes were once so little known 
among them, that an Indian with one hundred thousand pieces of 
gold and silver in his house, left it open, only placing a little 
stick across the door, as the sign that the master was out, and 
nobody went in. But when they saw that we placed locks and 
keys on our doors, they understood that it was from fear of 
thieves, and when they saw that we had thieves amongst us^ they 
despised us. All this I tell your Majesty, to discharge my con- 
science of a weight, that I may no longer be a party to these 
things. And I pray God to pardon me, for I am the last to die 
of all the discoverers and conquerors, as it is notorious that there 
are none left but me, in this land or out of it, and therefore I 
now do what 1 can to relieve my conscience." Calancha, lib, i, 
cap. 15, p. 98. 



Antls and Chunchos, who wandered about in search 
of food, through the interminable wilderness of matted 
vegetation. They never seem to have made any pro- 
gress; what they are now, such they were centuries 
ago : the nature of the country renders advance- 
ment impossible. Moreover they probably belong to 
the great Tupi-Guarani race of Brazil, and are distinct 
from the Peruvian tribes. To the south of the Qui- 
chuas, on either side of the upper valley of the Yilca- 
mayu, were the wild shepherd tribes called Asancatus, 
AsiLLUS, Cavinas, Canas, and Canches.^ But still 
further south, beyond the Vilcanota range of moun- 
tains, there was a great people, almost rivalling the 
Quichuas, who seem to have made some progress in 
civilisation, in the face of formidable natural difficul- 
ties. These were the Collas or Aymaeas. 

In the southern part of Peru the Cordillera of the 
Andes is divided into two chains. That to the east- 
ward, containing the peaks of Illimani and Yllampu, 
consists of rocks of Silurian formation mixed with 
granite, and the peaks themselves are said to be fossili- 
ferous to their summits. The other range to the west- 
ward is chiefly volcanic, and contains the famous volcano 
of Misti, and the glorious peaks of Chuquibamba and 
Chacani. Between these two chains of mountains there 
are lofty plateaux, never less than twelve thousand feet 
alcove the sea, the drainage of which flows into the 
great lake of Titicaca. Here there are no deep tem- 
perate valleys and ravines, nothing but bleak plains 
covered with coarse tufts of grass, with occasional 

' See chapters xcvii and xcviii, and note, p. 35G. 


patches of potatoe, quinoa, and oca. The cHmate is 
very severe, and the only trees, which arc few and far 
between, are the stunted crooked quenua {Polylepis 
villosa) and the dark leaved ccolli {Buddleia coriacea). 
In some places a low shrubby Baccharis is met mth, 
which serves as fuel. Tliis region, known as the Collao, 
was inhabited by the Aymara nation. 

These Aymaras had to contend against a rigorous 
climate and an unproductive soil ; they had none of the 
advantages enjoyed by their Quichua neighbours, and 
had consequently made slower advances in civilisation, 
but they were apparently an offshoot from the same 
common stock. The descendants of the Aymaras are 
shorter and more thick-set than those of the Quichuas, 
and their features are coarser and less regular. Cieza 
de Leon says that they flattened their skulls in infancy. 
They wore woollen cloths and square caps, and the 
women had hoods like those of a friar.^ The land was 
too cold for maize, and the people lived on potatoes 
and ocas, which they preserved by drying them in the 
sun and then freezing them, for winter use. In this 
state they were called chunus. There were large flocks 
of llamas and alpacas, and wild vicunas on the un- 
frequented heights. The Aymaras Hved in stone huts 
roofed with straw, which were built close together 
in villages, with the potatoe, oca, and quinoa fields 
around them.^ Cieza de Leon states that the Collao 
was once very populous, and the numerous vestiges of 
former cultivation up the terraced sides of the moun- 
tains, bear witness to the truth of his assertion. The 
' See page 363. * See page 360. 



people were ruled by chiefs who were treated with 
great respect, and carried about in litters. 

There is a mystery about the civilisation of the 
ancient Aymaras, which cannot now be solved. The 
origin and history of the extensive unfinished ruins at 
Tiahuanaco, near the southern shore of lake Titicaca, 
will for ever remain a secret ; but there can be no 
doubt that a people who could form so magnificent 
a design, convey such huge blocks of stone from 
great distances, hew out the enormous monolithic 
doorways, and carve them with such minuteness 
of ornamental detail, must have been numerous, and 
civilised.^ There are also remains of Aymara burial 
places in various parts of the Collao, especially on the 
peninsula of Sillustani, which consist of towers of hewn 
masonry.^ We learn from Cieza de Leon that the 
Aymaras observed the movements of the sun and 
moon, and divided their year into ten months. He con- 
sidered them to be a very intelligent people. He gives 
an account of their funeral ceremonies,^ and a very in- 
teresting description of a harvest home among the 
Aymaras,^ and states that they were often engaged in 
civil wars.^ The Aymara language, which is still in 
common use on the banks of lake Titicaca, though 
identical with Quichua in grammatical construction, 
has a distinct vocabulary.^ It is worthy of remark, 

' For a full description of the ruins of Tiahuanaco see chapter 
cv ; and notes at pages 375 to 378. 

^ See note at page 364. ^ See pages 363-4. 

* See page 412. * See page 363. 

" An Aymara grammar and dictionary by Torres Rubin was 
published at Lima in 1616. The gospel of St. Luke was ti-ans- 


however, that though the first few numerals in 
Aymara are indigenous, all the higher numbers are 
l)orro\ved from the Quichua.^ Next to the Quichuas, 
the Aymaras were by far the most important and civi- 
lised people in the Peruvian Andes ; and though their 
climate and soil was against them, there is some ground 
for the opinion that their civilisation, such as it was, 
boasts of an origin more ancient than that of the 
Quichuas. But all such speculations are mere conjec- 

In the rich valleys and on the grassy mountain 
sides of the Central Peruvian Andes, to the westward 
of the Quichuas, dwelt three nations which were called 
by their future conquerors — the Chancas, Pocras, and 
HuANCAS.2 They inhabited the districts now known 
as Abancay, Andahuaylas, Guamanga, and Xauxa. 

lated into Aymara, and published by the Indian Pasoscanki. An 
Aymara grammar, by Padre Ludovico Bertonio, was published 
at Rome in 1 608. A second edition, which was edited by Diego 
de Gueldo, was printed by the Jesuits in the little town of Juli, 
on the banks of lake Titicaca in 1612. See also Hervas, the 
Mithridates, and D'Orbigny. 

' In the same way the Dravidian languages of Southern India 
count up to one thousand, but for higher numbers they have to 
borrow from Sanscrit. This is considered as one proof of the 
superiority of the Aryan Hindus over the Tamils in civilisa- 
tion : and a similar conclusion may be dra^vn from the same fact, 
as regards the Quichuas and Aymaras. Adam Smith says that 
numerals are among the most abstract ideas that the human 
mind is capable of forming. See Mr. Crawfurd's paper " On 
Numerals as Evidence of the Progress of Civilization." (Etlinolo- 
ijical Society, February 1862.) 

■^ The names of tribes, which have come down to us, are gene- 
rally nicknames given by their conquerors. Chanca means a 
polluted thing, and lawnca is a drum in Quichua. 


Little or nothing is known of their history anterior to 
their ahsorj)tion into the empire of the Yncas, and if 
they had a distinct language, it must have been either 
very barbarous or very closely allied to Quichua, for 
no vestige of it has survived.^ All the ruins which 
might have enabled us to form an idea of their skill 
in building, such as the temple of Huarivilca in the 
valley of Xauxa,^ have entirely disappeared. It ap- 
pears, however, that they were very fierce and warlike, 
that each village had a fortress, and that they made a 
desperate struggle for independence before they w^ere 
finally subjugated by the Quichuas.^ 

North of Xauxa, the valleys and plateaux of the 
Cordillera were inhabited by the Conchucos, and by 
the Indians of Huamachuco, Caxamarca, Chachapoyas, 
and Bracamoras. This brings us to the frontier of Quito. 
The tribes of northern Peru are also said to have been 
warlike, and to have been incessantly engaged in feuds 
with each other.^ They are described as intelligent 
industrious agriculturists, with some knowledge of the 
courses of the heavenly bodies, and the same customs 
of burying their dead and worshipping huacas in the 
form of stones or other natural objects, as prevailed 
among the masses of the Quichua people.^ 

' Except possibly the word for water — yacu. In Quichua 
water is mm. 

* Described by Cieza de Leon. See page 299 and note. 

^ See page 299, page 280 and note, and page 317 and note. 
The Morochucos and Yquichanos of the department of Ayacucho, 
who are descendants of the Pocras, fully sustain the warlike fame 
of their ancestors. See Cttzco and Lhna, p. 70. 

' See page 285. 

■^ A vocabulary, professing to be of the language spoken by the 


AVe now come to the inhaljitaiits of the numerous 
isolated fertile tracts on the Pacific coast, who were 
all known by the Yncas, as Yuncas or " dwellers in 
the warm valleys."^ 

The Peruvian coast has been, geologically speaking, 
recently upheaved from the sea. It is a narrow strip 
of land, averaging a breadth of from ten to forty miles, 
confined on one side by the ocean, on the other by the 
magnificent Andes, which rise abruptly from the plains. 
The whole of this region consists of sandy desert, in- 
tersected by ranges of rocky hills, except where a 
stream flows down from the mountains to the sea, and 
forms an oasis of verdure and fertility. These pleasant 
valleys are in some parts of the coast of frequent 
occurrence, and are only separated by narrow strips of 
sand ; while in others the trackless deserts extend for 
nearly a hundred miles without a break. It scarcely 
ever rains on the Peruvian coast, but a heavy dew, 
during part of the year, falls on the valleys. 

The most ancient traces of the American race have 
been found on the Pacific coast, in the shape of mid- 
dings or refuse heaps, similar to those in Denmark. 
These middings, which have been examined by Mr. 
Spruce at Chanduy and Amotape, consist of fragments 
of pottery, sea shells, and crystal quartz cutting in- 

tribes in Northern Pern, and called Chincliay-suyu, is printed at 
the end of Figueredo's edition of Torres Rubio's Quichua gram- 
mar. But the vast majority of words are pure Quichua, and it must 
have been collected when Quichua was generally spoken, and 
after the aboriginal language had fallen almost entirely into disuse. 
It is, therefore, of very little use to the comparative philologist. 
^ For the meaning of this word, see pages 1G2 and 218. 


straments.^ They are the remains of a very ancient 
people of what is called, in European archaeology, the 
stone age ; and they suggest the possible existence of 
man in South America, contemporaneously with the 
post-pleistocene fossil vicuna of Corocoro. Be this how 
it may, there can be no doubt that the coast valleys of 
Peru had been inhabited for many centuries by Indian 
communities, which had made gradual progress in the 
improvement of their condition. Every part of these 
valleys, which could be reached by irrigation, was very 
fertile. Where irrigation ceased the desert cominenced. 
The irrigated parts contained fields of cotton, of yucas, 
of maize, of aji pepper, of sweet jDotatoes, and of 
gourds ; which were shaded by fruit trees festooned 
with passion flowers,^ and by groves of algoroba {Pros- 
opis horrida), of a sort of willow, and of the beautiful 
suclii (Flumieria). The most important traces of 
ancient civilisation are met with in the most extensive 
valleys, wdiere the population w^as denser than in the 
smaller and more isolated oases. 

The ancient works of irrigation in these valleys, now 
in ruins, excite the admiration of civil engineers who 
come to Peru to draw up schemes for imitating them.^ 
Every square foot of land was under cultivation, none 
was wasted even for the sites of villages and temples, 
which were always built on the verge of the desert, or 
on the rocky spurs of the maritime cordillera, over- 

' See in the Anthropolo(jical Revlctv for February 18G4, p. Ivii, 
a paper " On Crystal Quartz Cutting Instruments of the Ancient 
Inhabitants of Chanduy (near Guayaquil), found by Mr. Spruce ; 
by Clements li. Markham." 

■■' See page 2o4 and notes. ^ See note at page 236. 


looking the algorobca woods, the groves of fruit trees, 
and the rising crops,^ The fields were carefully 
manured, as well as watered by means of irrigating 
channels. In the valley of the Chilca they raised 
crops of Indian corn by putting two sardine heads into 
each hole with the grain, and thus the fish served for 
manuring the crops as well as for food.^ The guano 
on the islands off" the coast was also utilised as 
manure.^ The houses were built of huge adobes, or 
bricks baked in the sun, with flat roofs of reed, plastered 
with mud ; and the people were clothed in cotton 
dresses, which were very skilfully woven. ^ Their 
pottery was quite equal to that of the Quichuas, 
but at the same time clearly original in design ; the 
vessels being made to imitate shells, fruit, fish, and 

' See Cuzco and Lima, p. 12. ^ See page 255. 

^ See page 26G. 

* The indigenous cotton of the coast valleys of Peru, from 
which the Yunca Indians wove their cloths, is a perennial plant 
with a long staple, which now fetches a very high price in the 
Liverpool market, as a valuable sort. I have recently inti'oduced 
its cultivation into the Madras Presidency, where the result has 
been very successful, and the Peruvian cotton is considered as one 
of the most promising of the foreign kinds. The wool is perfectly 
white, but about one in every fifty plants yields cotton of a deep 
orange-brown colour. This sport, on the part of the cotton 
plants, attracted the attention of the Yuncas ; who looked upon 
the dark coloured wool as sacred, and the heads of their mum- 
mies were wi'apped in it. The same thing has taken place in 
India, much to the astonishment of the cultivators, who cannot 
understand why one of the plants should yield brown cotton, and 
all the others snow white ; when the leaves, flowers, seeds, and 
pods ai-e the same in aU. One cultivator in South Ai'cot scrubbed 
the brown cotton with soap and water, but without changing its 


other objects, which were familiar to the natives of 
the coast. 

The great ruins at Caxamarquilla, at Pachacamac,^ 
and of the Gran Chimu near Truxillo,^ still afford evi- 
dence of the civilisation of the Yunca Indians, and of 
the wealth and power of their chiefs. The people were 
warlike, and the tribe inhabiting the Chincha valley is 
even said to have made incursions far into the heart 
of the Andes. ^ In the valley of the Rimac there are 
mounds or artificial hills of immense size, which ap- 
pear to have been intended to afford protection against 
their enemies to the feudal lords ; and to serve as a 
place of retreat for their retainers. A collection of 
ruins is almost always found at their feet, which 
formed the village of the tribe. Cieza de Leon gives 
a detailed account of the manners and customs of 
these Yunca chiefs, and of their subjects.^ Nearly 
every valley had its independent chief and separate 
tribe ; although some of the more powerful chiefs, such 
as the Grand Chimu, the Chuqui-mancu of the Rimac, 
and the Lord of Chincha, had extended their dominion 
over several valleys. The language of the coast was 
quite distinct from Quichua.^ 

> See pages 251 to 254. ^ See page 242. 

* See page 261. * See cliapters Ixi to Ixv. 

° A grammar of the Yunca language was ^v^itten by Fernando 
de Carrera, and published at Lima in 1644 ; and forty words 
were collected by Mr. Spruce last year from the mouth of an old 
woman at Piura. But nearly all the Indians now speak Spanish, 
and the ancient language is, as nearly as possible, extinct. Quichua 
appears never to have been generally spoken on the coast. Yet 
the Ynca conquerors gave names to some of the principal places, 
such as Caxamar(|uilla, Rimac, Pachacamac, Nanasca, etc. In 


In many parts of the coast the aboriginal Indians 
have been exterminated by Spanish cruelty, in others 
they have disappeared through frequent crosses with 
negroes, in others they have entirely lost, with their 
native language, all traces of the distinctive character 
which once marked their ancestors. It is exceedingly 
important, therefore, to obtain authentic information 
concerning any of the coast tribes which have retained 
their language and national characteristics ; and the 
memoranda collected by Mr. Spruce at Piura, on this 
subject, which will be found in the accompanying 
note, contain some particulars of great interest.^ 

the case of Pachacamac, the reasons of the Ynca for sanctioning 
the reverential worship of the natives at that great temple, is 
given by Cieza de Leon at page 252. Originally an idol with a 
fish's head, or, according to others, a figure of a she-fox, was 
worshipped there. The Tncas put aside this idol, called the 
temple and its deity Pachacamac (literally " Creator of the 
world"), and, from motives of policy, encouraged pilgrimages to 
this grandly situated fane, overlooking the ocean. It seems, 
however, to have lost much of its importance after the Ynca 
conquest, for when Hernando Pizarro first arrived at it, a con- 
siderable portion of the adjoining city was in ruins. Caxamar- 
quilla, the name of another great ruined city near Lima, is a 
corrupt word, half Quichua half Spanish, meaning " a little ice- 
house," from the circumstance that the snow from the Cordilleras, 
for the use of wealthy citizens at Lima, was deposited there as 
a resting place on the road. None of these names are those 
originally used by the Yunca Indians who erected the buildings. 
Another Quichua word is Chuqui-maiicu, a name given by the 
Yncas to the chief of the Rimac valley, whom they conquered. 
Chuqui is a lance, and tnancuni to hew wood. This latter woi'd 
may be the derivation of the first part of the name of Manco 
Ccapac, though it is stated by Garcilasso to have no meaning in 

^ " According to information obtained at Piura, in the north 


It will be natural to inquire whether a race, which 
had for centuries inhabited the valleys on the Pacific 

of Peru, there still exist, along and near tlie neighboui-ing coast, 
large remnants of five distinct nations, viz. the Etenes, the Mor- 
ropes, the SecMras, the Gatacaos, and the Colanes. The Etenes 
inhabit the first coast- valley to the southward of the large valley 
of Lambayeque, and their town stands on a steep hill (morro) 
close by the sea ; they still preserve their original language and 
speak it constantly among themselves, so that it ought to be 
possible to obtain a complete vocabulary of it. 

" The Morropes occupy chiefly a village of that name lying on 
the north side of Lambayeque. 

" The Sechuras inhabit the large village of Sechura, still 
farther northward, at the mouth of the river Piura (which, ac- 
cording to Fitz Roy, is in latitude 5° 35' S., long. 80° 49' W.). 
Only the very oldest people recollect anything of their original 
language, but they relate that in their younger days it was in 
general use. They are the stoutest and best looking Indians I 
have seen on the Peruvian coast, and their favorite occupation is 
that of muleteer, in which (as their beasts of bm'den are all their 
own property) they often attain considerable wealth — not to be 
laid up, however, but to be liberally spent in the decoration of 
their church, their houses, and their wives. The church of 
Sechura is internally one of the most gorgeous in. Peru. I have 
seen a list, filling several folio pages, made last year (1863), of 
the sacred vessels it contains, including great numbers of gold 
and silver candlesticks, censers, crucifixes, etc. These are in 
charge of a mayordomo, who is chosen each year out of the 
wealthier inhabitants, and who on retiring from office always 
adds some costly gift to the stock ; so that I suppose Sechura to 
be at this moment richer in the precious metals than it was when 
the Si)aniards landed in Peru, and perhaps neai'ly as rich as the 
neighbouring to\\Ti of Tumbez was at that time. 

" The Scchurano has a great predilection for the number four. 
He divides his gains into four equal portions, the first for God (or 
the church), the second for the devil (i.e., his wife or women), the 
third for drink (chicha and brandy of Pisco), and the fourth for 
fiHul. If he has four sons, the first must be an arriero (muleteer), 
the second a salinero (worker and trader in salt, which is pro- 


coast, had halntually navigated the ocean which was 
always in sight ; and we find that they occasionally 
did venture to sea for fish, and that they undertook 
coasting voyages. The crooked algorobas, the willows, 
and fruit trees, afforded no suitable timber for boat- 
building ; but the Yuncas supplied the place of timber 
by going afloat on inflated sealskins.^ In this way 
they passed to and fro from the shore to the Guano 
islands, and, according to Acosta, they even went on 
long voyages to the westward.^ 

cured in large quantities at the mouth of the Piura), the third a 
pescador (fisherman), and the fourth a somhrerero (maker of 
Panama hats). 

" The Catacdos live in the village of that name, about five 
leagues higher up the valley of Piura. They are, perhaps, more 
numerous than the Sechuras, but are in every way an inferior 
race, lower in stature and coarser looking. Still they are very 
industrious, and manufacture great numbers of hats, besides 
working up the native cotton and wool into stout fabrics for their 
own gai'ments, and also for alfoijas, or saddle-bags (often beauti- 
fully woven in various coloui'ed devices), mantas, belts, etc. I 
was unable to find among them any one who recollected any- 
thing of their ancient language, bej'ond the tradition that it was 
entirely distinct from the Sechura. 

" The Coldnes, formerly very numerous on the lower part of 
the river Chira (a little to the north of the port of Payta), and 
still existing in the village of Col an, at the mouth of the river, 
and at Amotape, a little way within it, have also lost all remem- 
brance of the language of their forefathers. 

" By none of these Indian nations is the Quichua language 
spoken or understood, nor is there any evidence of its ever having 
been used by them." R. S. 

• For a good account of these balsas, see the Nautical Magazine 
for 1832, vol. i, p. 345. 

^ " The Indians of Yea and Ai-ica relate that, in ancient times, 
they used to make voyages to some very distant islands to the 
westward ; and that these voyages were performed on the in- 


The kingdom of Quito, which eventually formed the 
most northern province of the empire of the Yncas, 
consists of a series of lofty plateaux from which rise 
the towering peaks of Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, and 
Chanduy ; while both to the east and west a rich 
tropical vegetation fills the ravines which gradually 
subside on one side into the valley of the Amazon, 
and on the other into the Pacific coast. This region 
was inhabited by several aboriginal tribes, the most 
important of which were the Canaris, the Puruaes, 
and the Caras. Velasco relates that the Caras, after 
having been settled for about two hundred years on 
the coast of Esmeraldas, marched up the Andes and 
established themselves at Quito, where they were ruled 
by a succession of sovereigns called Scyris, until the 
country was conquered by the Yncas. These Caras 
are said to have been little advanced in architecture, 
but to have been dexterous in weaving fabrics of 
cotton and llama wool, and to have excelled as lapi- 
daries. A great emerald in the head-dress was the 
distinguishing mark of the reigning Scyri. 

But all this information respecting the early in- 
habitants of Quito, and more of the same sort, is de- 
rived from Velasco, who wrote only in the end of the 
last century. In truth, there are scarcely any reliable 
facts in the history of the people of Quito, previous to 
their subjugation by the Yncas, and all the remains 
of roads and buildings confessedly date from the 

flated skins of seals. Thus signs are not wanting that tlie South 
Sea liad been navigated, before the arrival of the Spaniards." 
Ilutoria Nntnral de I}idia,<i, lib. i, cap. 20, p. 68. 


times of Ynca domination.^ Cieza de Leon ^ives some 
account of the inhabitants of tlie Quitenian Andes.^ 

The principal aboriginal nations which inhabited the 
great empire of the Yncas have now been passed in re- 
view. In the temperate valleys of central Peru were the 
QuiCHUAS, the most powerful and civilised of all. To the 
eastward of them were the savage Antis and Chun- 
CHOS in the great tropical forests. To the south were the 
wild shepherd tribes of Canas, Canches, and others ; 
and still further south were the more civilised Aymaras, 
struggling against the difficulties of a rigorous climate. 
To the westward of Cuzco were the warlike Chancas, 

> The aboriginal people of Quito, or at least the dominant race 
which was found there when the first Ynca army invaded the 
country", is said to have spoken the Quichua language ; and it 
has been mentioned, as a very curious fact, that the same lan- 
guage should have been spoken at Cuzco and Quito, at a time 
when those places held no intercourse with each other ; whilst the 
inhabitants of the intervening country spoke totally distinct lan- 
guages. As one explanation of this, it has been suggested that 
the Caras were a Quichua colony which, at some remote period, had 
come in balsas from the Peruvian coast, landed at Esmeraldas, and 
eventually marched up to Quito. But there is no probability that 
any large body of Quichuas ever reached the coast before they 
came as conquerors, and the Yuncas did not speak Quichua. In 
my opinion there is no sufficient evidence that the people of 
Quito did speak Quichua previous to the Ynca conquest. They 
were forced to adopt it afterwards by their conquerors, and it 
completely superseded their o^vn more barbarous tongue : but in 
Cieza de Leon's time, though Quichua was the official language, 
the Puruaes and other tribes of the Quitenian Andes still spoke 
their own language in private. (See p. 161.) There is a tradi- 
tion that the giants, who are said to have landed at Point Santa 
Elena (see chap. Hi), forced the Caras to abandon the coas!, and 
retire into the mountainous district round Quito. 

- See chapters xxxix to xliv. 


PocRAS, HuANCAS, ai)cl Other tribes ; and on the coast 
were numerous tribes known to the Yncas by the col- 
lective name of Yuncas. Finally, in the kingdom of 
Quito, among others of less note, were the nations of 
Caras, Puruaes, and Canaris. 

About three centuries before the arrival of Pizarro 
in Peru, the civilised and populous nation of Quichuas, 
feeling their superiority, began to make permanent and 
rapid conquests over the surrounding tribes in every 
direction. The date of the first commencement of 
these conquests cannot now be ascertained. Many cen- 
turies must have elapsed, and a long succession of Yncas 
must have reigned at Cuzco before an aggressive policy 
became the leading feature of their government ; and 
there can be little doubt that their civilisation was in- 
digenous, and not derived from any foreign source. The 
traditional Manco Ccapac may or may not have been 
the first Ynca, but there is no good reason for supposing 
that he was a foreigner ; and I am decidedly of opinion 
that the Quichua civilisation is more likely to have re- 
quired a period represented by the hundred Yncas of 
Montesinos, than by the dozen of Garcilasso de la Vega, 
for its full development.^ But all the early traditions 

1 The traditions of the origin of the first Ynca, given by Garci- 
lasso de la Vega, Herrera, and Montesinos, arc entirely unworthy 
of credit. They are mere foolish stories obtained from the Indians, 
by credulous inquirers who probably put leading qiiestions, and 
who mixed everything up with Noah's flood, and other ideas of 
their own. 

Garcilasso de la Vega gives three stories, one, told him by his 
mother's uncle, that two children of the sun mysteriously ap- 
peared on the banks of lake Titicaca, marched north to Cuzco, 
and tnught the savnge people fo sow, reap, and weave : another, 


are probably fictitious, and the first really historical 
personage we meet with is the great conqueror Hiiira- 

that a mighty personage appeared at Tiahuanaco and divided 
the land amongst four kings, one of whom was Manco Ccapac : 
and a third, that four men and four women came out of a hole 
in a rock near Paccari-tampu, of whom the eldest was Manco 
Ccapac, the first Ynca. G. de la Vega, i, lib. i, cap. xv-xviii. 

HeiTera also gives three accounts. The first, obtained from 
the Huancas and Aymaras, that there was a great deluge, during 
which some people were preserved by hiding in caves on the 
highest mountains, after which a, mighty civiliser arose in the 
Collao. The second, that the sun, after a long absence, rose out 
of lake Titicaca* in company with a white man of large stature, 
who gave men rules to live by. He eventually spread his mantle 
on the sea and disappeared. The third story is the same as 
Garcilasso's, about the people coming out of a hole in the rock. 
Herrera, dec. iii, lib. ix, cap. 1. 

Montesinos says that, five hundred years after Noah's deluge, 
four brothers led the first inhabitants to Peru, of whom the 
youngest killed his brothers and left the empire to his son Manco 
Ccapac. Montesinos then gives a list of one hundred Tncas who 
succeeded Manco ; the inventions of his own imagination, or at 
best the results of affirmative answers from Indians who only 
half understood him : for, as Cieza de Leon shrewdly remarks, 
"these Indians are intelligent, but they answer Yes! to every- 
thing that is asked of them."t 

Cieza de Leon, whose testimony I consider to be worth more 
than that of all the other chroniclers put together, says that 
Manco Ccapac was believed to have been the first Ynca, and that 
the Indians relate great marvels respecting him. J Indeed, all 
that Cieza de Leon has recorded concerning the traditions of the 
people goes to prove that they had no idea of their ancestors 
having had a foreign origin, but, on the contrary, that they 
believed them to have sprung from their native rocks or lakes. 
Thus the Huancas thought that their first parents came forth 
from the fountain of Huarivilca.§ The Chancas sought the 

* See p. 372. t See p. -285. + See pp. 136,329. §Scep.29S. 


ccocha Ynca. This prince is frequently mentioned by 
Cieza cle Leon,^ and from his time the naiTative of 
Ynca rule is clear and I think trustworthy. It was 
gathered, by our author and others, from the mouths 
of the old Ynca statesmen and generals, who told 
what they had themselves seen, and what they had 
heard from their sires and grandsires. It would ap- 
pear, however, that, even before the time of Huira- 
ccocha, the Quichuas had already extended their sway 

origin of their race in the hake of Soclo-cocha.* The Aymaras 
were divided in opinion as to whether their first parents came 
out of a fountain, a lake, or a rock, but beHeved that once there 
was a great dekige. In short, "no sense can be learned from 
these Indians concerning their origin. "f All that we know for 
certain is, that they had dwelt for generation after generation in 
the valleys and on the mountains where the Spaniards found 
them in the middle of the sixteenth century. " A very long 
period has elapsed," says our author, " since these Indians first 
peopled the Indies. ";{: 

The series of Ynca sovereigns according to Garcilasso de la 
Vega, the last ten of whom are historical personages, is as fol- 
lows : — 
Circa 1021 Manco Ccapac. Circa 1439 Tupac Ynca Yupan- 

1062 Sinclii Rocca. qui. 

1091 Lloque Yupanqui. „ 1475 Huayna Ccapac. 

1126 Mayta Ccapac. ,, 1526 Huascar. 

1156 Ccapac Yupanqui. „ 1532 Atahualpa. 

1197 Ynca Rocca. „ 1533 Ynca Manco. 

1249 Yahuar-huaccac. „ 1553 Sayri Tupac. 

1289 Huira-ccocha. „ 1560 Cusi Titu Yupanqui. 

1340 Pachacutec. „ 1562 Tupac Amaru {he- 

1400 Ynca Yupanqui. liecuied \h7\). 

For the signification of these names, see note at page 231. 
1 See pages 332, 338, 355, etc. 

See p. 316. t See p. 363. + See p. 89. 


into some of the tropical valleys inhabited by the Antis 
and Chiinchos, had subjugated the Canas and Canches, 
and, taking advantage of the civil wars of the Aymaras, 
had annexed the wide plains of the Collao and of 
Charcas, and the campina of Arequipa. 

The reigns of the last five Yncas were very long, and 
when the mummy of Huira-ccocha was discovered by 
the Corregidor Ondegardo,^ it was found to be that of 
a very old man. We are justified, therefore, in placing 
his reion in the end of the thirteenth and bec^innino^ of 
the fourteenth century, contemporary with Edward I. 
of England. 

Huira-ccocha organised an army, and, after having 
defeated the united forces of the Chancas, Pocras and 
Huancas, in the great battle of Yahuar-pampa, annexed 
the whole of the central part of the Peruvian Andes to 
his dominions.^ The generals of his son and successor 
Pachacutec conquered the rich valleys of Xauxa and 
Caxamarca,^ and the coast districts inhabited by the 
Yuncas."^ Pachacutec's son, the Ynca Yupanqui, made 
extensive conquests in the rich forest-covered tropical 
plains to the eastward of Cuzco, which were completed 
by his son Tupac Ynca Yupanqui.^ The latter monarch 
extended his dominions as far as Tucuman and Chile on 
the south, and to the extreme limit of the kingdom of 
Quito on the north. Lastly, the famous Huayna 
Ccapac, during a long reign, consolidated and brought 
into subjection this vast empire.^ 

1 See note at p. 226. 2 gee note at page 280. 

3 See note at p. 269. ^ See p. 261. ^ gee p. 337 and note. 

^ The last aggressive enterprise of the Yncas seems to have 


These conquests, extending over a period of 
about two centuries and a half or more, were not 
achieved without much hard fighting and stubborn re- 
sistance on the part of the invaded nations. This was 
especially the case with the Yuncas of the Pacific 
coast. The Yncas, however, succeeded in permanently 
establishing their power more by conciliation than by 
force of arms ; and though their disciplined troops, 
wielding battle-axes, clubs and spears,^ did good execu- 
tion on the day of battle ; yet the liberal treatment of 
the vanquished, and their experience of the benefits of 
Ynca rule, were far more efiicacious agents in giving 
security to the new government.^ At the same time, 
in cases of treachery or revolt, the Yncas were capable 
of terrible severity, as in the case of the slaughter at 
Yahuar-ccocha, described by Cieza de Leon, which was 
perpetrated under orders from Huayna Ccapac.^ 

During this period of conquest the Quichuas pro- 
bably made more rapid progress in civilisation than 
they had done during many previous centuries. By 
becoming the dominant race over a vast region, their 
views became enlarged, their wants increased, and they 

been the invasion of the island of Puna, in the gulf of Guayaquil. 
Cieza de Leon gives a detailed account of the transactions con- 
nected with this invasion. See chapters xlvii, xlviii, and liv. 

1 The battle-axe was called cliampi, the club, macana, and the 
spear, chnqni. They also had a terrible weapon of copper, in 
the shape of a star ; a two-handed axe ; and bows and arrows, 

2 Cieza do Leon says that " the Yncas were very astute and 
artful in turning enemies into friends, without having resort to 
war" (p. 137). 

^ See page 133 and note, and page 137. 


learnt many things from communication with their 
conquered neighbours. Instead of being confined 
to the products of their native valleys, the Quichuas 
now obtained gokU and their beloved coca leaf^ 
from the eastern forests ; increased supplies of silver 
and copper from the country of the Aymaras ; 
emeralds from Quito; fish from the Pacific Ocean ; aji 
pepper, cotton fabrics, and an improved system of irri- 
gation from the coast valleys. They also learnt from 
the vanquished the use of many medicinal herbs and 
vegetable dyes. 

They had become an imperial race, and Cuzco was 
henceforward an imperial city,^ to which the chiefs and 
retainers of a hundred tribes, all distinguished by pecu- 
liar head-dresses,^ flocked to do homage to their com- 
mon sovereign. Then it was that great palaces were 
erected. Then the famous fortress, with its Cyclopean 
stones, rose on the Sacsahuaman hill.^ Then the Ccuri- 
cancha blazed forth in its almost fabulous splendour.^ 
In short, all the works of the Yncas of imperial magni- 
ficence or importance date from this period of busy 
conquest, and some of them, such as the fortress of 
Ollantay-tambo, were in course of construction when 
the Spaniards arrived, and they remain unfinished. At 
this time, too, those wonderful lines of road were con- 
structed, running from Cuzco east, west, north, and 
south, overcoming every natural obstacle, and aflfording 

^ See page 369. 2 ggg chapter xcvi. 

^ See chapters xcii and xciii ; and notes at pages 322 and 327. 

* See pages 145 and note, and 167 and note. 

^ See the second note at p. 322. ^ See page 328 and note. 


the means of rapid commiinicatiou from the capital to 
the extreme frontiers of the empire.^ There were 
tampus or lodgings at short intervals, and public 
buildings for officials, for storing tribute, and for col- 
lecting necessaries for an army, were erected in almost 
every valley along the line of the roads. 

The organisation of every branch of the government 
of this great empire displays extraordinary administra- 
tive ability on the part of the Yncas. Perhaps their 
most remarkable institution was the system of mitimaes 
or colonists, which is fully explained by Cieza de Leon.^ 
Combined with their policy of superseding all local 
idioms by the rich and cultivated Quichua,^ this system 
of mitimaes would soon have cemented the numerous 
conquered nations and tribes into one people, speaking 
one language. 

If good government consists in promoting the happi- 
ness and comfort of a people, and in securing them 
from oppression ; if a civilising government is one 
which brings the means of communication and of irri- 
gating land to the highest possible state of efficiency, 
and makes steady advances in all the arts, — then the 
government of the Yncas may fairly lay claim to those 
titles. The roads, irrigating channels, and other pub- 
lic works of the Yncas were superior to anything of the 
kind that then existed in Europe. Thcii- architecture 
is grand and imposing. Their pottery and ornamental 
work is little inferior to that of Greeks and Etruscans. 
They were skilled workers in gold, silver, copper, 

^ See pages 153 with note, and 217 and 218 with note. 

2 See pages 149, 150, oOl, and oG2. ^ Sec page 146. 


bronze, and stone. Their language was ricli, polished, 
and elegant. Their laws showed an earnest solicitude 
for the welfare of those who were to live under them. 
Above all, their enlightened toleration, for the existence 
of which there are the clearest proofs, is a feature in 
their rule which, in one point of view at least, and that 
a most important one, raises them above their con- 
temporaries in every part of the world. ^ 

Cieza de Leon bears testimony to the excellence of 
the government of the Yncas. The intelligent young 
soldier seems to have been astonished at the order and 
regularity, the beneficence and forethought which pre- 
vailed in the government of that empire which had 
just been shattered by his cruel countrymen. He says 
that the Yncas ruled with such wisdom that few in 
the world ever excelled them ;^ and, in another place, 
he comes to the conclusion that " if the ancient polity 
had been preserved, it would not have failed to bring 
the Indians nearer to the way of good living and con- 
versation ; for few nations in the world have had a 
better government than the Yncas." ^ 

^ Toleration is the last, as it is the greatest vii'tue that a ruler 
learns. It is a virtiie that has yet to be learnt by the nations of 
Europe. An eminent divine of the present day (^Spectator, July 
30th, 1864, p. 877) declares that it is well he has not the power 
to persecute his theological opponents, for that he would not 
trust his will. The brightest European examples of tolerant 
princes are Marcus Aui^elius and Oliver Cromwell, yet one per- 
mitted the persecution of Christians, and the other hunted down 
papists and malignants. For perfect toleration we must look 
beyond Europe, and contemplate the policy of the illustrious 
Akbar in India, and of the Yncas in South America. 

2 See page 136. ^ See page 220. 


But our author came to Peru fifteen years after 
the seizure of Atahualpa by Pizarro, and, short as the 
interval was, a terrible devastation had spread over 
the leno'th and breadth of the land. Over and over 


again Cieza de Leon mentions the destruction of the 
people. In every valley he entered, tliey had been 
killed by the Spaniards by thousands, and their build- 
ings reduced to ruins.^ In many districts the whole 
population had been exterminated. In one place he 
says — " Nearly all these valleys are now almost de- 
serted, having once been so densely peopled, as is well 
known to many persons." He heard of misery and 
cruelty in every part of the land. He saw the palaces 
and store houses of the Yncas in ruins, the flocks 
slaughtered, the grand roads destroyed, and the posts 
for pointing the way in the deserts used for fire wood.^ 
His barbarian countrymen pulled down the great works 
of irrigation,^ and turned thousands of acres of fertile 
land into desert. 

These sights excited the indignation of the humane 
and observant man at arms, who in this, as in many 
other respects, proved his superiority of head and 
heart over his brutal companions. Cieza de Leon felt 
warmly for the wrongs of the Indians, and devotes a 
chapter to show how God chastises those who are 
cruel to them."* But he was so steeped in the super- 
stition of his age and country that all the simple rites 
of the Indians appeared to him to be the work of the 
devil, and in every harmless ceremony he saw the 

1 See pages 17, 93, 108, 119, 203, 213, 220, etc. 

2 See note at p. 218. ^ ggg Ytngc 263. ^ Sec chapter cxix. 


cloven feet. He tells us that the old men of every 
tribe in the Indies conversed with the enemy of man- 
kind, and he mocks at their burying food with their dead 
for the journey to the other world, " as if hell was so 
very far off."^ The whole population of America was 
destined, according to our author, to eternal torments 
in the next world ; yet it is unjust to blame him for 
asserting a belief which is held at the present day, 
and by the most tolerant church in Christendom.^ 

AVhen uninfluenced by religious prejudices, he writes 
with an impartiality which does him the highest credit. 
He laments over the condition of the Indians, deplores 
the wanton destruction of their public works, and con- 
demns the barbarity of the Spaniards. His supersti- 
tious folly is the result of his education, his merits are 
all his own. In arrangement, in trustworthiness, in 
accuracy, and in the value of his observations, the 
work of Cieza de Leon stands higher than that of any 
contemporary chronicler : and these quahties in his 
book are enhanced by the romantic life and noble dis- 
position of its author. Cieza de Leon will, I think, be 
found an agreeable companion over a country of no 
common interest, at a most important period of its 
history ; and so I consign him to the favourable at- 
tention of the members of the Hakluyt Society. 

^ See page 40. 

2 When Columbus returned from his first voyage, he brought 
home several Indians, who were baptised at Barcelona, and one 
of them died shortly afterwards. Herrera tells us that this Indian 
was the first native of the new world who went to heaven. (Dec. i, 
lib. ii, cap. 5.) The countless millions of his countrymen who 
had died unbaptised, are of course suffering eternal torments in 
hell ! 





Which treats of the boundaries of provinces, their 

defcription, tlie founding of new cities, the rites and customs 

of the Indians, and other flrange things worthy to 

be known. 

Written by 






Con privitegio. 




Most liigli and most jjuissant Lord, — 

AS not only the notahle deeds of many very brave men, hit 
also numerous events ivorthy of jperpetual memory in different 
provinces, have remained in the shades of oblivion for want of 
writers who will record them, and of historians who will nar- 
rate them ; I, therefore, having crossed over to the New World, 
where I have 'passed the greater part of my time serving your 
Majesty in loars and discoveries, in which service I have 
always talcen much delight, have determined to imdertalce the 
history of the events in the great and memorable kingdom of 
Feru. I luent to it by land from the province of Carthagena, 
where, and in the province of Popayan, I lo as for many years. 
After I had been in your Majesty's service in that last war, 
which ended in the overthrow of the rebels and tyrants, I 
thought over the great tuealth of Peru, the ivonderful things in 
its provinces, the stirring events of its early history and of 
more recent times, and how much there was both in the one 
and the other period which was worthy of note. Then it was 
that I resolved to take up my pen and accomplish the desire 
I had conceived to perform a signal service for your Highness, 
holding it to be certain that your Highness would receive it 
ivithout noticing the weakness of my powers, but rather judging 
my intention, and, in your royal clemenrAf, receiving the will 


with which I offer this hooh to your Highness. It treats of 
that great kingdom of Peru of tvhicli God has made you Lord. 
I do not fail to consider, most serene and gracious Lord, 
that to describe the wonderful things of this great hingdom of 
Peru ivould require one who could write lihe Titus Livius, or 
Valerius, or some other of the great writers that have appeared 
in the tvorld, and that even they would find some difficulty in 
the tash. For who can enumerate the mighty things of Peru? 
the lofty mountains and profound valleys over which we ivent 
conquering and discovering ? the numerous rivers of such size 
and depth? the variety of provinces, with so many different 
things in each ? the tribes, with all their strange customs, 
rites, and ceremonies? so many birds, animals, trees, fishes, 
all unhiown ? Besides all these things, who can xvorthily 
describe the unheard-of labours which a handful of Spaniards 
passed through in this vast country ? Who can imagine the 
events of those tvars and discoveries, extending over sixteen hun- 
dred leagues of country ? the hunger, thirst, death, terrors, and 
fatigue which ivere suffered ? Concerning all these things there 
is so much to relate, that any writer would be tired out in writing 
it. For this cause, most puissant Lord, I have collected the 
most important events which I myself saw or heard, into this 
history. I have not the audacity to place it before the judg- 
ment of an mikind world, but I entertain the hope that your 
Highness ivill protect and defend it as a tiling belonging to 
yourself, so that I may freely dare to walk under your protec- 
tion. For many writers, fearing the same thing, have sought 
for Princes of great note to tchom they might dedicate their 
works, and some of these works have never been read by any 
one, being so fantastic and absurd. But ivhat I have ivrittcn 
here is concerning true and important things, both pleasant 
and useful, which have happened in our time ; and I dedicate 
my work to the greatest and most powerful Prince in the world, 
who is your Highness. Tlie attempt sarours of temerity in so 
unlearned a man, but uthrrs of more learning arc too much 


occupied in the wars to write. Oftentimes, ivJien the otJier 
soldiers were reposing, I was tiring myself hy lorithig. Neither 
fatigue nor the niggedness of the country, nor the mountains 
and rivers, nor intolerable hunger and suffering, have ever 
been sufficient to obstruct my two duties, namely, writing and 
following 7mj flag and my captain without fault. Saving 
written this work under such difficulties, and it being dedi- 
cated to your Highness, it seems to me that my readers ought 
to pardon any faadts which, in their judgments, they may find 
in it. If they refuse to pardon these faults, it must suffice for 
me that I have written the truth, for this is what I have most 
carefully sought after. Much that I have ivritten I saio with 
my own eyes, and I travelled over many countries in order to 
learn more concerning them. Those things ivhich I did not 
see, I took great pains to inform myself of, from persons of 
good repute, both Gliristians and Indians. I pray to Almighty 
God that, as He was served by giving to your Highness 
so great and rich a Mngdom as Peru, He ivill 
leave you to live and reign for many 
happy years, ivith increase of 
many other Mngdoms 
and lordships. 

B 2 




I SET out from Spain, where I was born and bred, at sucli a 
tender age that I was scarcely thirteen complete years old when 
I sailed ; and I spent more than seventeen years in the Indies, 
many of them in the discovery and conquest of new provinces, 
others in new settlements, and in travelling over different coun- 
tries. As I noted the many great and strange things that are to 
be seen in this new world of the Indies, there came upon me a 
strong desire to write an account of some of them, as well those 
which I had seen with my own eyes as those which I had heard 
of from persons of good repute. Bu.t when I considered my 
small stock of learning I put aside my desire, holding it to be a 
vain thing ; for I remembered that it was for learned doctors to 
write histories, throwing light upon them by their learning and 
judgment, while those who are not learned would be presumptu- 
ous even if thej'- thought of wi-iting. I, therefore, passed some 
time without giving heed to my former intentions. At last the 
Almighty Grod, who can do anything, favoured me with His 
divine grace, and awoke in me the memory of what I had before 
forgotten. Taking heart, I then determined to spend some part 
of my life in writing history, to which resolution I was moved by 
the following considerations. 

The first was, that in all parts where I had been, no one was 


engaged in -writing anything concerning what had occurred ; and 
time destroys the memory of events in such sort that soon there 
is no knowledge of what has passed. 

The next was, that both ourselves and these Indians draw our 
origin from our ancestors Adam and Eve, and that the Son of 
God descended from the heaven to the earth for all men, and, 
clothed in our humanity, received a cruel death on the cross to 
redeem us and free us from the power of the devil, which devil 
had, for so long a time, held these people captive by God's per- 
mission ; and that it was right that the world should know in 
what manner so great a multitude of tribes, as there is in these 
Indies, was brought into the bosom of the holy mother church 
by the exertions of Spaniards. These exertions were such that 
no other nation in the world could have endured them. Thus 
God chose us for so great a work, before any other nation. 

Another consideration was, that in future times it ought to be 
known how greatly the royal crown of Castille was enlarged, and 
how, when the invincible Emperor was our King and Lord, the 
rich and abundant kingdoms of New Spain and Peru were settled, 
and other islands and vast provinces were discovered. 

I beseech all learned and benevolent men to look upon my 
work with justice, for they know that the malice and murmuring 
of the ignorant and stupid are such that they never fail to find 
fault. Thus it is that many, fearing the rabid envy of these 
scorpions, consider it better to be called cowards than to allow 
their works to see the light. 

But I will not desist from my intention, valuing more the 
favour of the few and learned, than caring for the evil which the 
many foohsh readers may bring upon me. 

I also wrote this work that those, who learn from it the great 
services which many noble knights and youths have done for the 
royal crown of Spain, may be led to emulate their examples ; and, 
at the same time, by noting how others committed treasons, 
robberies, and other evil deeds, and suffered famous punishments 
for them, that they may profit by these examples, and loyally 
serve their natural king and lord. 

For the reasons which I have now set forth, I undertook the 


present work, for the better understanding of wliicli I have 
divided it into four parts, in the following manner. 

The first part treats of the division of the provinces of Peru, as 
well towards the sea as inland, with the longitudes and latitudes. 
It contains a description of aU these provinces, an account of the 
new cities founded by the Spaniards, with the names of the 
founders, and the time when they were founded ; an account of 
the ancient rites and customs of the native Indians, and other 
strange things very different from those of our country, Avhich 
are worthy of note.' 

In the second part, I shall treat of the government of the 
Yncas Yupanquis, who were the ancient kings of Peru, and of 
their great deeds and policy, how many of them there were, and 
their names. I shall describe the superb and magnificent temples 
which they built, the roads of wonderful size which they made, 
and other great things that were found in this kingdom. I shall 
also give an account in this book of what the Indians say con- 
cerning the deluge, and how the Tncas magnify the grandeur of 
their origin. 

In the third part I shall relate the discovery and conquest of 
this great kingdom of Peru, and the constancy of the Marquis 
Don Francisco Pizarro ; the hardships suffered by the Christians 
when thirteen of them with the same Marquis (God permitting) 
discovered the country ; how the said Don Francisco Pizarro was 
nominated governor by his Majesty, and entered Peru ; and how, 
with one hundred and sixty Spaniards, he captured Atahualpa. 
In this third part I shall also treat of the arrival of the Ade- 
lantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, and of the agreement made 
between him and the governor Don Francisco Pizarro. I shall, 
in like manner, give an account of the notable things which 
happened in various parts of this kingdom, of the rebellion of the 
Indians, and of the causes which led to it ; of the cruel and per- 
fidious war that the same Indians waged against the Spaniards 

1 This is the part which is now translated, the only one which was ever 
published, and, indeed, the only one which is suited to form a volume for 
the Hakluyt Society. It is a naiTative of travel in the strictest sense, 
while the other parts would have been purely historical. 

who were in the great city of Cuzco, and of the death of some 
Spanish and Indian captains. This third part will end with the 
return of the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro fi'om Chile, and 
his entry into the city of Cuzco by force of arms, the captain 
Hernando Pizarro, Knight of the order of Santiago, being there 
as chief justice. 

The fourth part is more important than the three which pre- 
cede it. It Avill be divided into five books, and will be entitled 
"The Civil Wars of Peru:" in which will be related stranger 
things than ever passed before in any other part of the world, 
among so small a number of people of the same nation. 

The first book of these civil wars treats of the war of Las 
SaHnas, and gives an account of the imprisonment of the captain 
Don Hernando Pizarro by the Adelantado Don Diego de Al- 
magro ; it relates how the city of Cuzco was made to receive 
Almagro as governor, and the causes of the war between the 
governors Pizarro and Almagro. It describes the treaties and 
interviews between them until the dispute was placed in the 
hands of an umpire, the oaths they each took, and the commis- 
sions and letters they each had received from his Majesty ; the 
sentence that was given, the return of the Adelantado to Cuzco, 
and how, with great fury and enmity, he fought the battle 
of Las Salinas, which is half a league from Cuzco. It relates 
also the march of the captain Lorenzo de Aldana to the provinces 
of Quito and Popayan, and the discoveries of the captains Gon- 
zalo Pizarro, Pedro de Candia, Alonzo de Alvarado, and others. 
I conclude with the return of Hernando Pizarro to Spain. 

The second book is called " The "War of Chupas." It Avill treat 
of several discoveries and conquests ; of the conspiracy of the 
men of Chile in the City of the Kings to kill the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro, and of his death. It wiU then relate how Don 
Diego de Almagro, son of the Adelantado, was received as 
governor by the greater part of the kingdom; how the captain 
Alonzo de Alvarado, who was captain and chief justice of his 
Majesty for the Marquis Pizarro in Chachapoyas, rose against 
him, and how Pero Alvarez, Holguin, Gomez de Tordoya, and 
others, did the same in Cuzco ; how the licentiate Christoval 


Vaca de Castro arrived from Spain as governor, and how there 
was discord among the men of Chile. I shall relate how, after 
some of the captains had killed each other, the cruel battle of 
Chupas was fought near Guamanga, and how the governor Vaca 
de Castro went to Cuzco and cut oft' the head of the youth Don 
Diego. This will conclude the second book. 

The third book ^^U be entitled " The Civil War of Quito." 
The writing of it will be very difficult, and it will treat of various 
important events. There will be an account of how the new laws 
were promulgated in Spain, and of the consequent meetings and 
consultations in Peru, until Conzalo Pizarro was received in the 
city of Cuzco as procurator and captain general. It will relate 
what occurred in the City of the Kings until the viceroy was 
seized by the judges and sent to sea ; the entry of Gonzalo 
Pizarro into the city, where he was received as governor ; his 
chase of the viceroy ; and how the viceroy was conquered and 
killed on the plain of Ailaquito. I shall also give an account, 
in this book, of the events which took place in Cuzco, in Charcas, 
and in other parts ; of the rising of Diego Centeno on the part of 
the king and of Alonzo de Toro and Francisco de Carbajal on the 
part of Gonzalo Pizarro, until that constant worthy, Diego Cen- 
teno, was constrained to hide in secret places, and his master of 
the camp, Lope de Mendoza, was killed ; also of what passed 
between the captains Pedro de Hinojosa, Juan de Yllanes, Mel- 
chior Verdugo, and the others who were in Tierra Firme ; and of 
how the Adelantado Belalcazar put the marshal Don Jorge Rob- 
ledo to death in the village of Pozo. I shall then recount how 
the Emperor our Lord, in his great clemency and kindness, sent 
out a pardon to all who should submit and enter his royal service; 
how the Hcentiate Pedi'o de la Gasca was appointed president, 
and how he arrived in Tierra Firme ; the policy by which he 
drew the captains, who were there, into the service of the king ; 
the return of Gonzalo PizaiTO to the City of the Kings ; the cruel- 
ties which were committed there by him and his captains ; how 
a general assembly was convoked to determine who should 
go as procurators general to Spain ; and the delivery of the fleet 
to the president. Here I shall conclude this book. 


The foui'tli book will ho entitled " The War of Huarina." It 
will treat of the entei-prise of the captain Diego Centeno ; how he 
entered the city of Cuzco with the few men whom he had been 
able to induce to join him ; how Lorenzo de Aldana sailed from 
Panama and arrived at the City of the Kings ; and how many 
captains left Gonzalo Pizarro, and passed over to the service of 
the king. I shall also treat of what passed between Diego Cen- 
teno and Alonzo de Mendoza, until they gave battle to Gonzalo 
Pizarro on the plain of Huarina. I shall relate how the captain 
Diego Centeno was defeated, how many of his captains and fol- 
lowers were killed or taken prisoners, and how Gonzalo Pizarro 
entered the city of Cuzco. 

The fifth book, containing the war of Xaquixaguana, treats of 
the arrival of the president Pedro de la Gasca in the valley of 
Xauxa ; of the preparations made by him when he heard that 
Diego Centeno was defeated ; of his march to Xaquixaguana, 
where Gonzalo Pizarro gave him battle ; it relates how the presi- 
dent and the troops of the king were victorious ; and how Gonzalo 
Pizarro was defeated and put to death in the same valley ; how 
the president arrived at Cuzco and proclaimed the tyrants to be 
traitors ; how he retired to a village called Huaynarima, where 
he divided the greater part of the provinces of this kingdom 
among persons selected by himself; and how he went thence to 
Lima, and established the Royal Audience. 

Having completed these books, which form the fourth part of 
my work, I shall add two Commentaries. The first will treat of 
the events in Peru, from the founding of the Audience to the 
departure of the president. The second, will give an account of 
the president's arrival in Tierra Firme ; of the murder of the 
Bishop of Xicaragua by the Contreras ; of how the Contreras, 
with tp-annical intentions, entered the city of Panama and stole 
great quantities of gold and silver, of how the citizens gave them 
battle outside the town, defeated and put them to death, and re- 
covered the treasure. I shall conclude with an account of the 
insurrection at Cuzco, relating how the marshal Alonzo de Alva- 
rado was sent by the judges to punish the rebels, and how the 
illustrious and politic worthy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, entered 
this kingdom as ^-iceroy. 


And if this history is not written with the elegance and learn- 
ing that science gives to letters, it will at least be truthful, and 
each event will be duly noted with brevit}^, while e\al deeds will 
be commented upon with moderation. 

I truly believe that others would have performed this work 
with more satisfaction to the reader, being more learned than I 
am. But, if my good intentions and my endeavours to do my 
best ai'e considered, it is just, at all events, that I should be 
favourably received. The ancient Diodorus Siculus says in his 
prologue, that mankind owes a great deal to authors, for, through 
their labours, the deeds of men live for many ages ; and he, 
therefore, calls Cicero the witness of time, the master of life, the 
light of truth. What I ask, in return for my labour, is that, 
although these writings may be devoid of elegance, they 
may be received with favour, because they are 
accompanied with truth. I submit my work 
to the judgment of the learned and 
vu'tuous ; and I beg that 
others will content 
merely reading it, without attempt- 
ing to judge what they 
do not understand. 




Which treats of the discovery of the Indies, of some other things which 
were done when they were first discovered, and of the present state 
of affairs. 

Fourteen hundred aud ninety-two years liad passed away 
since the Princess of life, the glorious virgin Mary our Lady, 
begot the only-begotten Son of God, and the Catholic kings 
Don Fernando and Dona Isabel of glorious memory were 
reigning in Spain, when the illustrious Christoval Colon 
set forth with three caravels and ninety Spaniards, whom 
the said kings ordered to serve under him. After sailing 
twelve hundred leagues to the westward over the wide ocean, 
he discovered the island of Espafiola, where now stands the 
city of Santo Domingo. Then also were discovered the 
islands of Cuba, and of San Juan de Puerto Eico, Yucatan, 
Tierra Firme, New Spain, the provinces of Gruatemala and 
Nicaragua, and many other islands and kingdoms as far as 
Florida ; and afterwards the great kingdom of Peru, Eio de 
la Plata, and the strait of Magellanes. Yet so many years 
had elapsed during which this vast expanse of land was 
unknown in Spain, nor was there any rumour concerning it ! 
The judicious reader will reflect through what amount of 
labour, hunger, thirst, terror, danger, and death the Span- 


iards must have passed in tliese navigations and discoveries, 
and what waste of blood and hves they must have entailed. 
And all was held as good service by the Catholic kings, 
as well as by his royal Majesty the invincible Ctesar Don 
Carlos the fifth Emperor of that name, our king and lord ; 
because the doctrine of Jesus Christ and the preaching of 
His holy gospel has thus been extended, and our holy faith 
exalted. The will both of the said Catholic kings and of 
his Majesty has been, and is, that great care should be taken 
in the conversion of the natives of all these provinces and 
kingdoms, for this was their principal aim ; and that the 
governors, captains, and discoverers should display their 
Christian zeal by such treatment of the Indians as their reli- 
gion enjoins. But notwithstanding that this is and was the 
desire of his Majesty, some of the governors and captains 
have basely committed many cruelties and outrages on the 
Indians. In their turn the Indians, to defend themselves, 
rose in arms and killed many Christians and some of the 
captains, which was the reason that they suffered torments, 
were burnt, and put to other cruel deaths. I hold that, as 
the dealings of God are always just, it must be that his 
divine justice permitted that these people, so far distant from 
Spain, should suffer so many evils from the Spaniards, for 
their sins and for those of their ancestors, which must have 
been many, as they were without faith. Nor do I affirm 
that all the Christians ill-treated the Indians ; for I have 
seen many temperate and God fearing men treat them well, 
curing and bleeding* them when they were ill, and perform- 
ing other charitable acts. And the goodness and mercy of 
God (which permits no evil without extracting some good 
from it) have also secured great blessings out of these ills, 
by bringing so many people to the knowledge of our holy 
Catholic faith, and placing them in the road to salvation. 
When his Majesty was informed of the ills which the Indians 
suffered, he thought it good to appoint viceroys and audi- 


cnces, with presidents and judges for their better govern- 
ment ; and thus the sufferings of the Indians have ceased, 
and no Spaniards, of what rank soever, can oppress them 
now. Besides the bishops, monks, seculars, and friars who 
went with the Spaniards, there were a sufficient number 
provided to teach the doctrine of the holy faith to the 
Indians and to administer the sacraments to them. In the 
audiences there are learned men of great piety, who punish 
those Spaniards that oppress the Indians in any way ; so 
that now there is no one who can ill-treat them, and, in the 
greater part of these kingdoms, they are as much masters of 
their own estates and persons as are the Spaniards them- 
selves. Each village is moderately assessed with the amount 
to be paid as tribute. I remember that, when I was in the 
pro\ance of Xauxa a few years ago, the Indians said to me 
with much satisfaction : " This is a happy time, like the days 
of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui ;" a king of ancient times, whose 
memory they hold in great veneration. Certain of this, we 
Christians ought to rejoice and give thanks to our Lord God 
that, in so great a country, so distant from our Spain and from 
all Europe, there is such justice and such good government, 
with churches and houses for prayer in all parts, where 
Almighty God is praised and worshipped; and the de\'il 
abused and defied, while the places which had been set apart 
for his glorification, are pulled down, and crosses, the signs 
of our salvation, raised in their stead. ' The idols and images 
Avere broken, and the devils fled away with fear and trem- 
bling. The holy gospel is preached, and spreads powerfully 
from east to west, and from north to south, that all nations 
may know and worship our Lord God. 



Of the city of Panama, and of its founding, and why it is treated of 
fii-st, before other matters. 

Bepoee I begin to treat of the affairs of the kingdom of 
Peru, I desire to give some account of what is known 
of the origin of these races of the Indies or New World, 
especially of the natives of Peru, according to what they say 
that they heard from their old men, although this is a secret 
which God alone can certainly know. But as my principal 
intention is, in this first part, to describe the land of Peru, 
and to relate the events connected with the foundation of its 
cities, I will leave the account of the origin of the people 
(that is, what they themselves say respecting their origin, 
and what we may conjecture) until I come to the second 
part, where this portion of the subject will be fully treated of. 
In the present part, as I have said, I shall treat of the founda- 
tion of many cities ; and I consider that if, in times past. Dido, 
in founding Carthage, perpetuated her name, and Romulus 
gave his name to Rome, and Alexander to Alexandria, with 
how much more reason should the fame and glory of his 
Majesty be perpetuated in future ages ; for in this great king- 
dom of Peru many great and rich cities have been founded in 
his royal name, to which his Majesty has given laws, and he 
has enabled the people to live quietly and peacefully. But, 
without counting these cities in Peru, the city of Panama 
was founded in the province of Tierra Firme, called Castilla 
del Oro, and I shall commence with it, although there are 
others in this kingdom of more importance. My reason for 
beginning with Panama is, that the captains who set forth 
to discover Peru started from that city. Thence I shall go 
to the port of Uraba, which is in the pi'ovince of Carthagena, 
not veiy far from the great river of Darien ; and I shall then 
give an account of the Indian villages, and of the Spanish 


settlements from this place to the town of Plata, and esta- 
blishment of Potosi on the southern boundary of Peru, a 
distance of, I should say, more than twelve hundred leagues 
of road, which I travelled over by land, and saw, examined, 
and know the things which I describe in this history. And 
I noted everything with much care and diligence, in order 
that I might be able to write with that truth which is due 
from me, and without any mixture of inaccuracies. 

I say, then, that the city of Panama is built near the South 
Sea, and eighteen leagues from Nombre de Dios, which is 
near the North Sea.^ It is of small extent, by reason of a 
lake which confines it on one side, and the city is considered 
unhealthy on account of the evil vapours which rise from 
this lake. It is built with the streets running due east and 
west ; so that when the sun rises no one can walk in any of 
the streets, because there is no shade whatever ; and this is 
felt very much as the heat is intense ; and the sun is so pre- 
judicial to health, that if a man is exposed to its rays even 
for a few hours he will be attacked -svith a fatal illness, and 
this has happened to many. Half a league from the sea 
there are good and healthy sites, where the city might have 
been built at first ; but as the houses have a high price, on 
account of the great expense of building them, the site has 
not been changed, although the inhabitants are aware of the 
notorious harm which all must receive from living in so 
unhealthy a place. The first conquerors are now all dead ; 
and the present inhabitants do not expect to remain long, 
only think of becoming rich, and care little for the public 
good. A river flows near this city, which rises in certain 
hills ; and there are many others, on the banks of which the 

1 Old Panama was founded in 1520, in 8° 57' N. latitude and 79° 31' 
W. longitude ; on the shores of a bay discovered by Tello de Guzman, 
one of the companions of Columbus. In 1521 the city was granted a 
royal charter by Charles V, with the title of " Venj noble and venj loyal 
city of I'anama.'' 


Spaniards have their farms^ where they have planted many- 
trees from Spain^ as oranges, citrons, and figs. Besides 
these there are other fruits belonging to the country, such 
as fragrant pines and plantains, many excellent guavas,^ 
caymitos,- aguacatcs,^ and other fruits. In the plains there 
are large herds of cattle, for the country is well adapted for 
breeding them. The rivers contain much gold, and at the 
time that the city was founded they obtained a great quantity. 
Panama is well supplied with provisions, being situated 
between two seas, — that is to say, the North Sea, by which 
the ships of Spain come to Nombre de Dios ; and the South 
Sea, by which ships sail from Panama to all the ports of 
Peru. The country round this city yields neither wheat nor 
barley ; but the owners of farms raise much maize, and they 
bring plenty of flour from Spain and Peru. There is much 
fish in all the rivers and also in the sea, though different 
from those on the coast of Spain.* On the sea-shore, close 
to the houses of the city, they find great quantities of very 
small mussels (aimejas), which they call chucha; and I believe 
that, at the time of the first settlement, the city remained on 
this site because the Spaniards felt themselves safe from 
hunger on account of these mussels. In the rivers there are 
great quantities of alligators, which are so large and fierce 
that it is wonderful to see them. In the river of Genu I 
have seen many very large ones, and have eaten the eggs 
which they deposit on the shore. We found one of these 
large alligators in the river which they call San Jorge, when 
we went with Captain Alonzo de Caceres to discover the 

1 Inga spectahilis Wild : the paccay of Peru ; a pod with black seeds 
in sweet juicy cotton. 

'^ Chryiiophijllum Caimito Lin. : or star apple. 

'^ Alligator pear, called palla in Peru. {Persea (jratissima R. P.) 
The Aztec name ahuacahuitl was corrupted by the Spaniards into 
aguacate, and by the English West Indians into avogada (aUujator) 
pears. It is a most refreshing fruit, eaten with pepper and salt. 

"* Panama is an Indian word, signifying a place abounding with fish 


province of Unite. It was so monstrously large as to 
measure more than twenty-five feet in length ; and when we 
killed it with our lances, it was a grand thing to witness its 
bravery. Being very hungry we ate some of the flesh ; but 
it is bad, and has a disagreeable smell. These alligators 
have eaten many Spaniards, horses, and Indians, when pass- 
ing over the land from one river to another. 

There are few natives in the neighbourhood of Panama, 
for nearly all have been destroyed by the evil treatment 
they received from the Spaniards and by sickness. The city 
is inhabited by many merchants from all parts, who trade 
here and in Nombre de Dios ; for there is much traffic, and 
the place might almost be compared with the city of Venice. 
Very often ships come to Panama from the South Sea to 
discharge cargoes of gold and silver ; and the number of 
vessels is very great that arrive at Nombre de Dios, bring- 
ing much merchandise, which is transported to Panama by 
canoes up the river Chagres, and thence over five leagues of 
road. Near the city the sea forms a large bay, and the 
vessels come into the port with the tide. The anchorage is 
very good for small vessels. Panama was founded by Pedra- 
rias de Avila, who was governor of Tierra Firme, in the 
name of the invincible Caesar Don Carlos, the august King 
of Spain, our lord, in the year 1520. It is in about 8° north 
of the equinoctial Hne.^ It has a good port, into which the 
vessels enter with the ebb tide until they are high and dry. 
The ebb and flow of this sea is great, so that the shore 
remains uncovered at low water for a distance of half a 
league ; and vessels anchored in three fathoms at low water, 
are in seven fathoms when the tide comes up.'^ 

1 8° 59' K 

■ About a mile outside the present city of Panama there is a hill, now 
laid out as a garden with a summer house on the top. This is the " Cerro 
de Buccaneros," whence ^lorgan, wdth his ruffians, got the first view of 
the rich city of old Panama ; and a most magnificent view it is. Undu- 
lating hiUs clad in bright fohage, gi-een savannahs, the blue bay with its 



In this chapter I have treated of the city of Panama. In 
the following I shall describe the harbours and rivers along 
the coast as far as Chile, for this plan will give much preci- 
sion to the work. 

islands, and the modern city of Panama on a long promontory almost sur- 
rounded by the sea. Far away to the left, rising out of a dense forest, 
is the sohtary tower which alone remains of the once flourisliing old 
Panama, the town founded by Pedrarias, and described above by our 
author. So complete is the desolation of this once splendid city, the 
centre of trade between Peru and Spain, that it is difficult to reach the 
site. The way leads tlu-ough a trackless forest of taU trees and tangled 
undergrowth, and over a swampy creek of deep black mud, wliich opens 
on the sea-shore, the port described by Cieza de Leon. Tlie taU tower of 
San Geronimo covered with creepers, with decayed and falhng walls 
rising up around it, out of the dense jungle, amidst thick brushwood and 
tall forest trees, alone marks the site of the old city. AVhen we reached 
the beach it was low water, and the wide sands were covered with pelicans, 
cranes, sandpipers, and other water fowl, which made the place look still 
more melancholy and deserted. Old Panama was one of the richest cities 
in Spanish America. It had eight monasteries, two splendid churches 
iand a cathedral, a fine hospital, two hundred richly fiu-nished houses, 
near five thousand houses of a hmnble kind, a Genoese chamber of com- 
merce, two hundred warehouses, and delicious gardens and country houses 
in the environs. All is now covered by a dense and impervious forest. 

The buccaneers marched to the attack of this doomed city under the 
command of the notorious Morgan, and, after three weeks of rapine and 
murder, left it on February 24:th, 1671, with one hunch'ed and seventy- 
five laden mules and over six hundred prisoners. The houses were built 
of cedar, so that when Morgan set fire to them, the destruction was 

After tills fearful calamity the governor of Panama, Don Juan Perez 
de Guzman, w;is recalled and sent piisoner to Lima by order of the Vice- 
roy of Peru, and in 1673 Don Alonzo Mercado de Villacorta was ordered 
to found a new town on the present site, some miles from the ruins of 
old Panama. 

A paved road led from old Panama to Porto Bello, on tlie opposite 
side of the isthmus. 



Of the poi-ts between Panama and the land of Peru, of the distances 
between them, and of their latitudes. 

It is known to all the world how the Spaniards, aided by 
God, have prosperously gained and made themselves masters 
of this new world, which is called the Indies. These Indies 
include so many and such great kingdoms and provinces, 
that it causes wonder even to think of them ; and their dis- 
covery and conquest have been successful, as all who hve in 
this age well know. I have sometimes thought that, when 
one people and nation succeeds another, as time rolls on the 
first is forgotten ; and that the same fate may overtake us 
as has befallen others, which may God forefend : but these 
kingdoms and provinces were discovered in the time of the 
most Christian and illustrious Charles, the ever august 
Emperor of the Romans, and our lord and king, who has 
taken and still takes so much care for the conversion of the 
Indians. For this reason I believe that Spain wiU ever 
retain these possessions, and that aU who Hve in them wiU 
ever acknowledge the kings of Spain as their masters. 

In this chapter I desire to explain to those who may read 
my work the manner of navigating by points and degrees 
from Panama to Peru. The time for navigating is during 
the months of January, February, and March, because in 
tliis season there are always fresh breezes from the north, 
and the vessels make short passages ; while during the rest 
of the year the south winds prevail along the coast of Peru.^ 
Thus the vessels finish their voyages before the south winds 
set in. Ships can also sail in August and September, but 
not with the same ease as in the season before mentioned ; 
for if some few vessels sail in these months, they make very 

^ The prevailing winds along the shores of Peru blow from S.S.E. to 
S.W., seldom stronger than a fresh breeze. 



long and difficult passages. The soutli wind is prevalent for 
a long time along this coast from Chile to near Tumbez, 
which is favourable for a voyage from Peru to Tierra Firme^ 
Nicaragua^ and other ports ; but very difficult for vessels 
going to Peru. Sailing from Panama, vessels first sight 
the islands called " of the Pearls/' which are barely in 8°.^ 
These islands consist of twenty-five or thirty, clustering- 
round one which is the largest of all. They were formerly 
inhabited by Indian natives, but now there are none. The 
owners of these islands have Negroes and Indians of Nica- 
ragua and Cubagua, who watch the flocks and sow the seeds, 
for the land is fertile. They have also obtained a great 
quantity of rich pearls, whence the islands take their name. 
From these islands vessels work for the point of Carachine, 
which is ten leagues to the E.S.E. ; and when they sight it, 
the land is high and woody. It is in 8g°.^ From this point 
the coast runs S.E.^S. to Puerto de Piiias for eight leagues, 
which is in 6j°.^ Here the land is high, forest covered, and 
rugged. Thence the coast trends S. \ E. to Cape Corrientes; 
and following the same course vessels arrive at the island of 
Palms, so called from the quantities of those trees which 
grow on it. It is little more than a league and a half round, 
it has rivers of fresh water, and used to be inhabited. This 
island is twenty-five leagues from Cape Corrientes, in 4g°. 
From this point the coast runs in the same direction to the 
port of Buenaventura, which is a little more than three 
leagues from the island. The entrance to the bay is in 31°,"* 
and close to it there is a high peaked island. The country 
is covered with forests, and many great rivers, rising in the 
mountains, fall into the sea, by one of which vessels ap- 
proach the town and port of Buenaventura. The pilot who 
may take a vessel in, should know the river well, or he will 
have much trouble, as was the case with me and many 
others who employed new pilots. Thence the coast runs 
> 8o 20' to 8" 40' N. 2 H-^ 5' N. 3 7,, 24' N. " T)" 48' N. 


W. I S. to the island called Grorgona, which is twenty-five 
leagues from this bay. This part of the coast is low, and 
overrun with mangroves and other dense bushes. Many 
large rivers flow into the sea, the principal one being the 
river of San Juan, the banks of which are inhabited by wild 
people, who build their houses on great stages raised on 
forked poles. These Indians are very rich in gold, and their 
country, which is fertile, is traversed by rivers washing 
down abundance of this metal. But it is so swampy and 
full of lagoons, that it is impossible to conquer it without an 
expenditure of many lives and much trouble. 

The island of Gorgona is high, and it never ceases to rain 
and thunder there, so that it seems as if the elements were 
fighting. It is two leagues round, covered with forest, and 
has streams of very good water. There are many turkeys, 
pheasants, cats, and great serpents, besides night birds, on 
the island. It seems that it has never been inhabited. The 
Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, with thirteen Spanish 
Christians, his companions, was many days on this island, 
and suffered much from hunger and exposure, until at last 
God was weU served by the discovery of the provinces of 
Peru. This island of Gorgona is in 3°,^ and thence the 
coast trends W.S.W. to the island of Gallo. All this coast 
is low and woody, and many rivers here fall into the sea. 
The island of Gallo is small, scarcely a league round, and is 
in 2°- of the equator. Thence the coast turns S.W. to the 
point of Mangroves," which is a httle under eight leagues 
from Gallo. Thence the coast runs S.W. to the bay of Sant- 
iago, where it fonns a creek, and an anchorage called 
Sardinas. Here is the mouth of the great and rapid river 
of Santiago, where the government of the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro commenced. This roadstead is twenty- 
five leagues from the point of Mangroves. Here vessels 
have their bows in eighty fathoms and their stems nearly 

* 2° 55' N. 3 Q^ute correct. ^ Xear the port of Tumaco. 


aground^ and sometimes they are in ninety fathoms at one 
moment, and in two at another ; but these inequalities, 
which are caused by the fury of the river, are not dangers, 
nor do they prevent vessels from going in and out at plea- 
sure. The coast then runs west towards the Cape of San 
Francisco, which is ten leagues from the roadstead. This 
cape is high land, and near it there are some brown and 
white ravines. It is 1° N. of the equator.^ Thence the 
coast runs S.W. to the point of Passaos, which is on the 
equinoctial line.^ Between these two points four rivers fall 
into the sea, called the Quiximies,^ which are very large. 
They form a tolerable port, where vessels can take in fresh 
water and firewood. 


Describes the navigation as far as the Callao of Lima, wliich is the port 
of the City of the Kings. 

I HAVE now described, though briefly, the way by which this 
South Sea is navigated as far as the Quiximies, which is in 
the land of Peru. It will now be well to continue the route 
until we arrive at the City of the Kings. Leaving then the 
cape of Passaos, the coast trends to the S. ^ W. as far as 
Puerto Viejo, and before reaching it there is the bay of 
Caraquez, which vessels enter without any danger. Its con- 
veniences are such that ships of even one thousand tons may 
be careened here, and it is easy to enter and sail out, except 
that there are some rocky islands at its mouth, but there are 
no obstructions beyond those which meet the eye. Near 
Puerto Viejo, and two leagues inland, is the city of Sant- 
iago, and two leagues to the south of the port there is a 

' Oo 38' N. 2 ()o 20' S. 3 Bajos de Cojimies. 


round hill called Monte Cristo. This Puerto Viejo is 1° S.^ 
of the equator. Five leagues further on in the same direc- 
tion is the cape of San Lorenzo, and three leagues beyond 
this cape, to the south-west, is the island which is called 
La Plata, a league and a half long. Here, in ancient times, 
the natives of the main land held their sacrificial festivals, 
and killed many lambs and sheep, and some children, whose 
blood was oflfered to their devils and idols, figures carved in 
stone which were objects of worship. The Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions, during 
their voyage of discovery, landed on this island and found 
some silver and jewels, and many robes and dresses of cloth 
richly embroidered. From that time to this the island has 
remained with the name which it now bears. Following the 
coast line to the S. \ E. we come next to the point of 
Santa Elena. Before reaching this point there are two 
places, the one called Callo and the other Calango,- where 
ships touch, and take in wood and water. The distance 
from the point of San Lorenzo to that of Santa Elena is 
fifteen leagues. There is a creek on the north side of the 
latter point, where there is good anchorage.^ At the 
distance of a cross-bow shot from the point there is a 
fountain of bitumen, which appears to be natural tar. Of 
this, and of the wells made by the giants on this point, 
I shall give an account further on, which will be well worth 

From this point of Santa Elena vessels go to the river of 
Tumbez, a distance of twenty-eight leagues. The river 
bears from the point S. I E., and between them there is 
another great inlet. To the N.E. of the river of Tum- 
bez there is an island which is more than ten leagues round, 

1 1° 2' S. 

^ Or Salango, Avhcre good water may be got from a rivulet, and also 
very fine timber. 

^ This is quite correct, there is good anchorage, but no fresh water to 
be had. * See chapter hi. 


and it lias been very ricli and populous, so that the natives 
rivalled those of Tumbez and of other parts of the main land. 
There were great wars and many battles between them, so 
that time and the arrival of the Spaniards have greatly dimi- 
nished the number of the islanders. The island is very 
fertile and well wooded. It is the property of his Majesty. 
There is a rumour that a great sum of gold and silver was 
buried there in ancient times. The Indians say that these 
islanders were given to idolatry, and were very vicious, 
many of them committing the abominable offence, and being 
guilty of other great sins. Near this island of Puna there is 
another further out, called Santa Clara. This island has 
neither inhabitants, wood, nor water ; but the ancient people 
of Puna had their cemeteries on it, and performed sacrifices. 
They have placed on the heights, where they built their 
altars, great quantities of gold, and silver, and fine orna- 
ments dedicated to their gods. When the Spaniards arrived, 
these treasures were concealed (so the Indians say) in places 
where they could not be found.^ 

The river of Tumbez flows through a country which is 
thickly inhabited. Near the sea there is a fortress, a very 
strong and handsome structure, built by the Yncas, kings of 
Cuzco and lords of all Peru, in which they had great store 
of treasure. There was also a temple of the Sun, and a 

1 Tlie island of Santa Clara is also called the Isla del Muerto ; Pizarro 
landed on it during his first voyage to Tmubez, and his people found a 
few pieces of gold there. The man who attends the lighthouse on the 
island, recently opened a huaca^ and found in it a quantity of gold orna- 
ments, which he sold to the Prussian Consul at Guayaquil. ]\Ir. Spruce 
tells me that they are the most interesting and perfect specunens of Peru- 
vian art lie has seen. One of the objects was a small statue, six to eight 
inches high, of very creditable sculptiu-e. INIore curious still were several 
thin plates, almost like a lady's muslin collar in size and shape, covered 
with figures. One of them has jjerhaps a hundred figures of pelicans (the 
sacred bird of the people of Puna). Every figure represents the bird in 
a different attitude, and as they have been stamped, not engraved, a 
separate die must have been used for each figure. 


house of Mamacunas/ wliich means principal women of the 
virgins dedicated to the service of the temple. These 
women lived according to rules almost the same as those of 
the vestal virgins of Rome. The edifices are now in a ruin- 
ous state^ though their remains show how great they once 
were. The mouth of the river of Tumbez is in 4° S.^ Thence 
the coast trends S.W. to Cape Blanco/ distant fifteen 
leagues/ and then towards the island of Lobos.^ Between 
Cape Blanco and the island of Lobos there is a point called 
Pariilaj which runs out into the sea almost as far as the 
former point.^ From point Pariiia the coast runs S.W. to 
Payta. From Tumbez towards the south, the coast is without 
trees, and if there are any hills they are naked, and rocky. 
The rest of the coast is a sandy desert, and few rivers fall 
into the sea. Payta is a little more than eight leagues''' from 
Cape Pariiia j it is a good port, where ships refit, in 5° S.^ 
From the island of Lobos (just mentioned) the distance to 
Payta will be about five leagues. Following the coast we 
come to Punta del Aguja,^ and between it and the island 
there is a large inlet. This point is in 6° S. To the south 
of it there are two islands called Lobos, from the great num- 
ber of seals, and all vessels can pass between them and the 
main land.^^ From Punta de Aguja the coast trends S.W. 

' Mama (Mother) and citna (the plural particle) in Quichua. They 
were Matrons who had charge of the virgins of the Sun. 

- The town of Tiuubez, about two leagues up the river, now consists of 
a few huts. ^\Taalers come here for fresh water. It is in 3^ 30' S. 

^ Cape Blanco is high and bold. * Twenty-two leagues. 

' The island of Lobos de Tierra is two leagues long and two miles wide, 
ten miles from the main land. 

® A bluff about eighty feet high, with a reef rimning out to a distance 
of half a mile on its western side. Pariiia Point is the western extre- 
mity of South America. 

' Nine leagues S.E.^S. « 5° 3' S. 

" A long level point terminating in a steep bluff one hunch-ed and fifty 
feet high. It is in 5^ 55' S. 

>" These are the islands of Lobos de Afuera, about one hundi-ed feet 
high. There are regular soundings in fifty fathoms between them and 
the shore. 


to a port called Casma. The coast runs S.W. 
where vessels can only lie in fair weather, and ten leagues 
further south is the reef of Trusillo, a bad port, with no 
other shelter than the buoys of the anchors. Vessels some- 
times touch here for provisions. Two leagues inland is the 
city of Truxillo. From this j)ort, which is in 7|°, vessels go 
to the port of Guanape/ seven leagues from Truxillo, in 
8g°. More to the south is the port of Santa, where vessels 
touch, and near which there is a great river with very good 
water.^ All the coast is without trees (as I said a little way 
back), sandy, and broken with craggy rocks. Santa is in 9°. 
Five leagues further on is Ferrol,'* a secure port, but witliout 
fuel or water. Another six leagues brings us to Casma, 
where there is a river and plenty of wood, so that vessels 
can put in for supplies. It is in 10°.^ From Casma the 
coast runs south to the islets of Huara, and further on is 
Guarmay, where there is a river.^ Another six leagues takes 
us to Huara, where vessels can take in all the salt they re- 
quire, for there is enough to supply Italy and all Spain, and 
even then it would not be exhausted.'^ Thence the coast 
trends south to the island of Lima. Half way, a little nearer 
Lima than the islets of Huara,^ there is an island called Salme- 
rina, nine or ten leagues from the land. The island of Lima 
forms the shelter to CaUao, which is the port of Lima.^ The 

1 The road of Malabrigo is a bad anchorage, though somewhat better 
than the road of Huanchaco, the port of Truxillo, wliich is in 8° 6' S. 

* There is a small cove vnth. a tolerable landing on the north side of 
Guauape hill. 

3 Santa bay, though small, is a tolerable port, and fresli provisions, 
vegetables, and water may be procured. 

* Ferrol bay is an excellent place for a vessel to careen, being entirely 
free from the swell of the ocean. There is no fresh water. 

^ The bay of Casma is a snug anchorage. 

^ Guarmay is the best place on the coast for firewood. The river cannot 
be depended upon for supplies of water, except during the wet season. 

^ There are large salt lakes here. ® Several islets off the coast. 

^ The high barren island of San Lorenzo, which Cieza de Leon called 
the island of Lima, fonns the spacious and safe anchorage of Callao Bay. 


port is very safe. Callao, which (as I have said) is the port 
of the City of Kings, is in 12^°.^ 


Of the ports and rivers on the coast, from the City of the Kings to the 
province of Cliile, and of their latitudes, with other matters con- 
nected with the navigation of these seas. 

I HAVE myself been in most of the ports and rivers which I 
have now described, and I have taken much trouble to ascer- 
tain the correctness of what is here written, having- commu- 
nicated with the dexterous and expert pilots who know the 
navigation of these ports, and who took the altitudes in my 
presence. In this chapter I shall continue my description 
of the coast, with its ports and rivers from Lima until we 
arrive at the province of Chile. But I am unable to describe 
the coast down to the straits of Magellan, having lost a 
copious narrative which I had from a pilot who came in one 
of the ships sent by the Bishop of Plazencia. 

When ships sail from the port of the City of the Kings, 
they shape their course south, until they reach the port of 
Sangalla, which is very good, and at first it was considered 
certain that the City of the Kings would have been founded 
near it. Sangalla is thirty-five leagues from Lima, in barely 
14° S. of the equinoctial." Near this port there is an island 
called Seal Island. All the coast, from this point, is low, 

' 12° 4' S. 

* Sangalla, so called also by Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman (p. 149), 
Herrera, and others, was no doubt close to the modern Pisco, Avhich is in 
latitude 13° 43' S. If Sangalla is not identical with Pisco, it was pro- 
bably on the site of the modern \dllage of Paraccas, a few miles further 
south, and about in the latitude given by Cieza de Leon. There is an 
island still called Saugallan, off the peninsida of Paraccas, about two 
mUes and a half long, with a bold cliffy outline. 


though in some parts there are naked chains of rocky hills, 
and the whole is a sandy desert, on which it has never 
rained, nor does anything- fall except a thin mist; but I shall 
treat of this admirable secret of nature further on.' Near 
this Seal Island there are seven or eight other small islets, 
some high and others low, uninhabited, and without wood 
or water, tree, shrub, or anything else, except seals and 
sand hills. The Indians, according to their own account, 
used to go to these islands to make sacrifices, and it is pre- 
sumed that great treasure is buried on them. They are a 
little more than four leagues from the coast. Further on 
there is another island, also called Seal Island, from the 
quantity of those animals that frequent it, which is 14g°.- 

From this island vessels continue the voyage, the coast 
trending S.W.^S,, and after twelve leagues more they come 
to a promontory called Nasca, which is in 15° less one 
quarter.^ There is here shelter for ships, but not for boats, 
as they cannot land. Further on there is another point 
called San Nicolas, in log.* From this point of San Nicolas 
the coast turns S.W., and after twelve leagues the port of 
Acari is reached, where vessels take in provisions and 
water, brought from a valley which is a little more than five 
leagues from the port. This port of Acari is in 16".^ Con- 

1 See chapter lix. 

- These are the Ballista and Chincha islands : the latter, now so famous 
for their g-uano deposits, supplying all the world with that rich manure, 
which forms the chief item in the revenue of modern Peru. 

^ Cape Nasca is a lofty bluff, one thousand and twenty feet high, in 
14° 57' S. ; there is an anchorage called Caballas Roads to the westward, 
rocky and sliallow, " which should only be known to be avoided." The 
Beagle was at anchor there for twenty-four hours without being able to 
effect a landing. I rode along the whole of this coast in January 1853, 
a most desolate miserable region. Near C'ape Nasca there are a feAv 
huts, called Sta. Anna, used as a bathing station for the ladies of Nasca, 
San Xavier, and other coast valleys. 

•' Tn latitude 15" If S. 

^ In latitude 15° 20' S. 'I'he jiort of Acari is called San fluaii, and is 
one of the best on the co;ist ; but wood, water, and [irovisions arc all 
brought from a distance. 


tinning the voyage vessels next arrive off the river of Ocona, 
and further on are the rivers of Camana and Quilca. Near 
the latter river there is a cove, which affords good and 
secure anchorage. It is also called Quilca, and forms the 
port of the city of Arequipa, which is seventeen leagues 
distant. This port is in l?!".! Saihng from Quilca, vessels 
pass some islets, where the Indians go from the main land 
to fish. Three leagues further on there is another island, 
very close to the shore, and the ships anchor to leeward of 
it, for from this place also goods are sent to the city of 
Arequipa. It is twelve leagues beyond Quilca, in 17^'' or 
more, and is called Chuti.^ Further on there is a great 
river called Tamboballa, and ten leagues more bring us to 
a point which runs out for a league into the sea, and there 
are three pointed rocks near it.^ There is a good port, shel- 
tered by this point, called Ylo, where a river of very good 
water, having the same name as the port, falls into the sea. 
Ylo is in ISg"".^ Thence the coast trends S.jE., and seven 
leagues farther on there is a promontory, which the ma- 
riners called the Hill of the Devils.-^ All this coast is dan- 
gerous. Further on, about five leagues from this point, 
there is a small river of good water, and ten leagues more 
bring us to another high point and some ravines. Off this 
point there is an islet, and near it is the port of Arica, in 
29g'\^ From Arica the coast runs S.E. for nine leagues, 

1 In latitude IB" 42' S. The anchorage is much exposed, but landing 
is tolerably good. Quilca was the port of Arequipa in Spanish times, but 
since 1827 it has given place to Islay, another port a short distance down 
the coast. 

- In lat. 17° 7' there is a point of that name, a few miles S.E. of Islay. 

' This is Coles point, a low sandy spit, running out into the sea, with 
a cluster of rocks off it. 

■• Ylo is five miles and a half N.E. of Coles point, in latitude 17'' 36' S. 
^A'ater is scarce. 

' Tliis may be Sama hiU, the highest and most conspicuous land near 
the sea, on tliis part of the coast. 

* In latitude 18° 27' S. Our author is beginning to get a good deal 
out in his reckoning. 


wliere there is a river called Pisagua. From this river to 
the port of Tarapaca the coast trends in the same direction 
a distance of twenty-five leagues. Near Tarapaca there is 
an island a little more than a league round and one and 
a half from the shore, which fonns a bay in 21°, This 
is the port of Tarapaca.^ Thence the coast trends in 
the same direction, and five leagues further on there is a 
point called Tacama. Passing this point vessels come to 
the port of Mexillones, sixteen leagues further on, which is 
in 22^°.^ The coast then trends S.S.W. for ninety leagues". 
It is a straight coast, with some points and bays, and in 26° 
there is a good port called Copayapo,^ vdih an islet about 
half a league from the shore, and here the inhabited part of 
the province of Chile commences. Further on there is a 
point of land forming a bay, with two rocks in it, and here 
a river of very good water falls into the sea, called Huasco. 
The point is in 28^°.* Ten leagues further on there is another 
point which affords shelter for ships, but here there is neither 
wood nor water. Near this point is the port of Coquimbo, 
and between it and the point there are seven islands. This 
port is in 29|°.^ Ten leagues further on another point runs 
out, forming a large bay called Atongayo,^ and five leagues 

1 This is the port of Iquique, in latitude 20O 12' S. ; a place of con- 
siderable trade, from the quantity of saltpetre that is exported. The 
anchorage is under a low island correctly described by our author. 

- The spacious bay of JVIexillones is eight miles across, but no wood nor 
water can be obtained there. 

^ In latitude 27° 2' S. A very bad port, with a remarkable island 
called Isla Grande to the north. 

* The point forming Huasco bay is low and rugged, with several small 
islands between it and the port. The river is small, and a heavy surf 
breaks outside ; the water, however, is excellent. There is another small 
river of brackish water nearer the port. The port is in latitude 28° 27' S. 
Here our author becomes more correct in his reckoning. 

» In latitude 29° .^5' S. The islands he mentions are the Pijaros Niilos 
islets and rocks. 

® The point lierc mentioned is a low rocky spit called Lcngua de Vaca, 
round which is Tongoy, or, as our author calls it, Atongayo bay. About 
twenty-two miles further south is the mouth of the Limari river. 


beyond is the river of Limara. From this river vessels 
reach a bay after sailing nine leagues, where there is a 
pointed rock, and no fresh water. It is in 30", and is 
called Choape.^ Further on, continuing the same course 
for twenty-one leagues, there is a good port called Quintero, 
in 32",- and ten leagues more bring us to the port of Val- 
paraiso, and the city of Santiago, which is what we call 
Chile, in 32 1°.^ Continuing the voyage we next come to 
another port called Topocalma, in 34°,* and twelve leagues 
further on is the river of Maule. Fourteen leagues further 
on there is another river called Ytata, and twenty-four 
leagues more bring us to a river called Biobio, in 38° 
nearly,^ In the same direction, after sailing fifteen leagues 
more, we come to a large island five leagues from the shore, 
which is said to be inhabited. It is called Luchengo.® 
Beyond this island there is a bay called Valdivia, where 
there is a great river, the name of which is Ayniledos. The 
bay of Valdivia is in 39|°.7 To the S.S.W. of the port 
is the Cape of Santa Maria in 42^° S. This is as far as the 
coast has been examined and described. The pilots say that 
it then turns S.E. to the straits of Magellan. One of the 
ships which sailed from Spain, belonging to the expedition 
of the Bishop of Palencia, passed through the straits of 
IMagellan, and reached the port of Quilca, which is near 
Arequipa, whence she went on to Lima and Panama. She 
brought a good account of the latitude of the strait, and of 
what happened during the very diSicult voyage ; but I do 
not insert that narrative here, because, at the time when we 

* I cannot identify tliis. 

^ In latitude 32° 50' S. The bay of Quintero is roomy and sheltered 
dining southerly ^vinds. 
3 In latitude 33° S. 

* Coasters sometimes anchor here for a few hoiu^, but there is no place 
fit for a vessel of two himdred tons. 

® In latitude 36° 47' S. ^ He must mean the island of Mocha. 

^ In latitude 39" 49' S. 


gave battle to Gonzalo Pizarro in the valley of Xaquixa- 
guana^ five leagues from the city of Cuzco, I had several of 
my papers and journals stolen, and this among the number, 
which I regret very much. I should have wished to con- 
clude my account of the coast with this narrative. Receive, 
therefore, my desire to give this further information ; for 
I have taken no little trouble to ascertain the truth, and I 
have examined the new charts made by the pilots who dis- 
covered this sea.^ 

Here I must conclude the portion of my work which treats 
of the navigation of this South Sea. I shall now proceed 
to give an account of the provinces and nations from the 
port of Uraba to the city of Plata, which is a distance of 
more than 1200 leagues, and I shall describe the govern- 
ment of Popayan and the kingdom of Peru. 

I shall commence, then, with the port of Uraba, and pass 
thence to the city of Antiochia and to other parts, as will 
appear presently. 


IIow the city of San Sebastian was founded in the bay of Uraba ;"^ and 
of the native Indians in that neighboiu'hood. 

In the year 1509, when Alonzo de Ojeda and Nicuesa were 
governors of Tierra Firme, a town was founded in the pro- 

' The above is, on the whole, an excellent account of the coast from 
Panama to Valdivia. It agrees, in aU essential points, Avith Admiral 
Fitz-Roy's sailing directions printed in 1851 ; and Cieza de Leon deserves 
great credit for his care and dihgence in collecting what, in those days, 
must have been very useful information. Indeed, it is not a Uttle re- 
markable that, in those early days of the conquest, the old Spanish pilots 
should have completed a manual of sailing directions such as is contained 
in the preceding chaj)ters, on a plan very similar to those now issued by the 
Ilydrographic Othce. 

2 Or Darien. 


vincc of Darien, and was named Nuestra Sefiora del Antigua. 
Some of the Spaniards, who were among the early discover- 
ers, declare that they found the flower of the chiefs of the 
Indians in these parts. At that time, although the province 
of Carthagena was discovered, it was not settled, nor had the 
Christians done more than trade with the Indians, obtaining 
a quantity of fine gold by exchanges. The Governor Ojeda 
marched to the great town of Turbaco, four leagues from 
Carthagena (which was formerly called Calamar), where he 
fought a great battle with the Indians. Many Christians 
were killed, and among them the captain Juan de la Cosa, 
a valiant and resolute man. In order that his body might 
not fall into the hands of the Indians, the Spaniards retreated 
to their ships. After this event the Governor Ojeda founded 
a town of Christians in the country called Uraba, and ap- 
pointed as his captain and lieutenant there, Francisco 
Pizarro, who was aftei-wards governor and marquis. In 
this city or town of Uraba, this captain Francisco Pizarro, 
suffered from hunger and sickness, and from the attacks of 
the Indians of Uraba. These Indians (as it is said) were not 
natives of this province, their ancient home having been 
in the country which borders on the great river of Darien.^ 
Desiring to escape from subjection to the yoke of the 
Spaniards who treated them so ill, they left their homes 
with their arms, taking their women and children with them. 
Having arrived at Uraba, they attacked the natives with 
great cruelty, killed them all, and made themselves masters 
of their land. 

MTien the governor Ojeda heard of this he entertained 
hopes of finding great riches in that country, and sent his 
lieutenant Francisco Pizarro to form a settlement there, 
who was the first Christian to enter this land. Afterwards 
these governors Ojeda and Nicuesa came to a disastrous 
end, as is well known among those of that time who 
' Or Atrato. 



still survive, and Pedrarias came as governor of Tierra 
Firme, but thoug-li there were 2000 Spaniards in the city of 
Antigua, none of tliem settled in Uraba.^ Time passed on, 

1 The events thus briefly alluded to by oiu- author, mil be made more 
intelligible by a short summary. The main land of the American conti- 
nent was first discovered by Colmnbus dm-ing his third voyage in 1498, 
at Paria, opposite to the island of Trinidad. In 1499 one of his com- 
panions, Alonzo de Ojeda, accompanied by Amerigo Vespucci, touched 
the coast somewhere near Sm-inam, and coasted along as far as the gulf 
of Maracaibo, naming a village at the mouth of that gulf Ve^iezuela. In 
1508 Ojeda, who was a brave soldier of great personal strength, obtained 
the govermuent of the coast from Cabo de la A'ela to the gulf of Uraba, 
Avhich was called Xew Andalusia ; and at the same time Diego Nicueza, 
a very different sort of person, — a polished courtier and good musician, 
was appointed governor of Veragua or Castille del Oro, a territory ex- 
tending from the guK of Uraba to Cape Gracias li Dios. 

The two adventm-ers arrived at Hispaniola at the same time ; but 
Ojeda set out first on his voyage of discovery, and landed at Carthagena 
in 1510. Advancing into the country he was surprised and defeated by 
the Indians in the bloody battle of Turbaco, losing seventy Spaniards, 
among them Juan de la Cosa, Ojeda's lieutenant. At this time Nicuesa 
arrived, and, in spite of former jealousies and quarrels, offered assistance 
to Ojeda. The Indians were in their turn defeated, and all were put to 
the sword, neither age nor sex being spared. 

Ojeda then took leave of Xicuesa, and, sailing to the westward, selected 
a spot on the east side of the gulf of Uraba or Darien as a site for a 
town. It consisted of about tliirty huts siuTounded by a stockade, and 
was called San Sebastian de Uraba. Here Ojeda was again defeated by 
the Indians, and, returning to Hispaniola for assistance, he died there in 
extreme poverty. The Spaniards at San Sebastian were left under the 
command of Francisco Pizarro, the future conqueror of Peru ; they suf- 
fered from famine and disease, and at last Pizarro embarked them all in 
two small vessels. Outside the harbour they met a vessel which proved 
to be that of the Bachiller Enciso, Ojeda's partner, coming with pro- 
visions and reinforcements. They all returned to San Sebastian, but 
found that the Indians had destroyed the fort, and Enciso determined to 
abandon it. One of the crew of Enciso's sliip, Vasco Xuuez de Balboa, 
the future discoverer of the South Sea, induced his commander to form a 
settlement on the other side of the gulf, called Santa Maria la Antigua 
del Darien. No vestige of it now remains. The troops, however, soon 
became dLscontented, Enciso was deposed, and Diego Colmenares, who 
arrived with provisions, was sent to offer the command to Xieuesii. 'I'his 
coniiiiander. after jiarting fidin Ojeda, had suffered most fearful hardsliips 


the governor Pedrarias cut off" the head of his son-in-law 
Yasco Nunez de Balboa/ and of Captain Francisco Her- 
nandez in Nicaragua, and the Indians of the river Genu 
killed the captain Bezerra and the Christians who were with 
him. At lastj Don Pedro de Heredia came out as governor 
of Carthagena, and sent his brother the captain Alonzo de 
Heredia with a party of Spaniards to settle in Uraba for a 
second time, calling the city San Sebastian de Buena Vista.'^ 
This city is situated on some small hills clear of trees, and 
there is no thicket near them, except in the marshy ground 
and on the banks of the rivers. But the province is covered 
with dense forest in many parts, and the plains are full of 

on a desert island, and Colmenares found liim in a state of great misery, 
in a bay wlaich he had called Nomhre de Dios. When he arrived at Darien, 
the Spaniards had changed their minds, and refused to receive him, 
and he was finally obUged to sail in a wretched boat, and was never heard 
of again. Tins was in March 1511. Vasco Nuiiez, a clever and courage- 
ous adventurer, then took command of the Darien settlement, and the 
Bachiller Enciso was sent back to Hispaniola. The new commander 
entered upon a career of conquest in the neighbourhood of Darien, 
which ended in the discovery of the Pacific Ocean on September 
25th, 1513. In 1514 Pedrarias de Avila was appointed governor of 
Darien, an old man of rank and some reputation, but with no abihty, 
and of a cruel disposition. He set out with a large expedition, the his- 
torian Oviedo, and the BachiUer Enciso being in his train ; and superseded 
Blasco Nuiiez in the govermnent of Darien in June. 

1 In 1517. 

2 Don Pedro de Heredia was one of the most distinguished among the dis- 
coverers of New Granada, a firm, intrepid, enterprising man, gifted with 
the art of securing the confidence and obedience of liis usually lawless fol- 
lowers. He commenced his career as lieutenant under Garcia de Lerma, 
the second governor of Santa JNIartha, and, returning to Spain with great 
wealth, he obtained the govermnent of all the countiy between the 
mouth of the river ^lagdalena and the gulf of Darien, and set sail again 
with a hundred men in 1532. He founded the city of Carthagena in 
January 1533, and his brother Alonzo de Heredia established a settle- 
ment at Uraba in 1535. 

Our author sailed from Spain, in the fleet of Pedro de Heredia, at the 
early age of thirteen. The lad seems to have accompanied Alonzo de 
Heredia to Uraba, and, with the interesting account of the Indians of that 
region which now follows, the pereonal narrative of his travels commences. 



very large palm trees with thick bark^ and bearing large 
jjalmitos, -wliich are white and very sweet. When the 
Spaniards explored this country, in the time when Alonzo 
Lopez de Ayala was lieutenant to the governor of this city, 
they ate nothing for many days except these palmitos. The 
wood is so hard and difficult to cut, that it took a man half 
a day before he could cut a tree down and get the palmitos, 
which they ate without bread, and drank much water, so tha^ 
many Spaniards died. Near the town, and on the banks of 
the river, there are many gardens of orange-trees, plaintains, 
and guavas. There are many rivers in the province, which 
rise in the mountains. In the interior there are some Indians 
and caciques, who used to be very inch by reason of their 
trade with those who lived in the plains beyond the moun- 
tains, and in the country of Dobaybe. These Indians, who 
were masters of this region, originally came, as I have 
before said, from the other side of the great river of Darien. 
The lords or caciques are obeyed and feared by the Indians, 
and their women are the prettiest and most loveable of any 
that I have seen in the Indies. They are clean in their 
eating, and have none of the dirty habits of other nations. 
These Indians have small villages, and their houses are hke 
long sheds. They sleep in hammocks and use no other sort of 
bed. Their land is fertile and abundantly supplied with provi- 
sions, such as well tasted roots. There are also herds of small 
pigs which are good eating, and many great tapirs, said by 
some to be of the shape and form of zebras ; abundance of 
turkeys and other birds, plenty of fish in the rivers, and 
tigers, which kill the Indians and commit havoc amongst 
their beasts. Tliere are also very large serpents and other 
creatures in the dense forests, the names of which we know 
not. Among them are the creatures which we call Pcricos 
ligeros,^ and it is a marvel to see their fierce looks, and the 
torpid lazy way in which they move along. 

^ Perico ligero, one of the sloth tribe {Bradypns didactylus) . The snout 
is sliort, forehead hi<rh, eyes black and almost covered with loiiii- black cvc- 


When the Spaniards occupied tlie villages of these Indians, 
they found a great quantity of gold in some small baskets, 
in the form of rich ornaments. There were also many other 
oniaments and chains of fine gold, and much cotton cloth. 
The women wore mantles, which covered them from the waist 
to the feet, and other mantles over their bosoms. They are 
very pretty, and always go about decently dressed and 
combed. The men go naked and barefooted, without other 
covering than what nature has given them; but they have 
shells or other ornaments, either of bone or of very fine gold, 
suspended by a thread in front of their privates. Some of these 
that I saw, weighed forty to fifty j^'^sos each, some more and 
some less. These Indians are engaged in trade, and take pigs, 
which are native, and different from those in Spain, to sell 
to other tribes more inland.^ These pigs are smaller than 
Spanish pigs, and they have a navel on their backs,- which 
must be something which has grown there. The Indians 
also trade with salt and fish, getting in exchange their gold, 
cloth and other articles. Their arms are bows, made of the 
wood of a black palm, a braza long, with very long and 
sharp arrows, anointed with a juice which is so evil and 
pestilential, that no man who is wounded with it so as to 
draw blood, can live, although it should not be as much as 
would flow from the prick of a pin. Thus few if any who 
have been wounded with this juice, fail to die. 

lashes, no incisors in the upper jaw, legs ill-formed, thighs ill-shapecl and 
clmnsy, hind legs sliort and tliick, the toes united, having thi-ee long curved 
claws on the liind and fore feet, twenty-eight ribs, and veiy short tail. The 
whole leng-th of the body is between four and five feet. The animal is 
the very picture of misery, and covered mth long shaggy hair like dried 
grass. Its motion is very slow, at each step it howls most hideously, and 
scarcely walks ten yards in as many hom's. It feeds on leaves and buds, 
and when it has once gained the top of a tree it wUl remain there as long 
as a leaf is to be procured. Stevenson, ii, j). 237. 

^ The Peccary, or South American wild pig. 

- AMiat Cieza de Leon, and other old -m-iters, called a navel, is a dorsal 
gland on the backs of these peccaries, which must be cut out soon after 
the animal's death, or it soon vitiates the whole cai'case. 



How the herb is made so poisonous, with which the Indians of Cartha- 
gena and Santa Martha have killed so many Spaniards. 

As this poisonous juice of tlie Indians of Carthagena and 
Santa Martha is so famous, it seems well to give an account 
here of the way it is made, which is as follows. This juice 
is composed of many things. I investigated and became 
acquainted with the principal ingredients in the province of 
Carthagena, in a village called Bahayre, from a cacique or 
lord, whose name was Macavin. He showed me some short 
roots, of a yellow colour and disagreeable smell, and told me 
that they were dug up on the sea shore, near the trees which 
we call m an sanill OS, ^a.nd pieces were cut from the roots of that 
pestiferous tree. They then burnt these pieces in earthen 
pots, and made them into a paste. After this was done, they 
sought for certain ants, as big as the beetles of Spain, 
which are very black and evil, and which, by merely biting a 
man, cause terrible pain. This happened when we were 
journeying on the expedition with the licentiate Juan de 
Vadillo ; for one of the soldiers was bitten by an ant, and 
suffered so much pain that at last he lost all feeling, and 
even had three or four bad attacks of fever, until the poison 
had run its course. They also seek for certain very large 
spiders, and for certain hairy worms, creatures which I shall 
not soon forget ; for one day, when I was guarding a river 
in the forests called Abibe, under the branch of a tree, one 
of these worms bit me in the neck, and I passed the most 
painful and wearisome night I have ever experienced in my 
life. They also make the poison of the wings of a bat, and 
the head and tail of a fish which is very poisonous, adding 
toads and the tails of serpents, together with certain small 

1 " Manzanillo de playa." {Hipiwmane Mancinella Lin.), a enphor 
biaccous plant. In the West Indies it is known as the manshincel 



apples, which appear in colour and smell to be the same as 
those of Spain. Some of those recently arrived in these 
parts, on landing, eat these apples without knowing that 
they are poisonous. I knew one Juan Agraz (whom I have 
lately seen in the city of San Francisco de Quito), who, 
when he came from Spain, and landed on the coast of 
Santa Martha, ate ten or a dozen of these apples, and I 
heard him swear that in colour and smell they could not be 
better, except that they have a milk which becomes poison. 
Other roots and herbs form ingredients of this juice, and 
when they want to make it, they prepare a great fire in a 
place far from their houses, and take some slave girl whom 
they do not value, and make her watch the pots, and attend 
to the brewing of the poison ; but the smell kills the person 
who thus makes the juice, at least so I have heard. 


In which other customs of the Indians subject to the city of Ura]:)a 
are descrilaed. 

With this evil juice the Indians anoint the points of their 
arrows, and they are so dexterous in the use of these arrows, 
and draw their bows with such force, that it has often hap- 
pened that they have transfixed a horse, or the knight who 
is riding, the arrow entering on one side and coming out on 
the other. They wear cotton for defensive armour, the 
moisture of that country not being suitable for cuirasses. 
However, with all these difficulties, and in spite of the 
country being so forbidding, foot soldiers have overrun it 
with nothing but swords and shields, and ten or twelve 
Spaniards are as good as 100 or 200 Indians. These 
Indians have no temples nor any form of worship, and 
nothing has been discovered concerning their religion as 
yet, except that they certainly talk with the devil, and do 


him all the honour they can, for they hold him in great 
veneration. He appears to them (as I have been told by 
one of themselves) in frightful and terrible visions, which 
cause them much alarm. The sons inherit their fathers' 
property, if they are born of the principal wife, and they 
marry the daughters of their sisters. Their chiefs have 
many wives. When a chief dies, all his servants and friends 
assemble in his house in the night, without any light ; but 
they have a great quantity of their wine made from maize, 
which they continue drinking while they mourn for the 
dead. After they have completed their ceremonies and 
sorceries, they inter the body with its arms and treasures, 
plenty of food, and jugs of cliicha, together with a few live 
women. The devil gives them to understand that, in the 
place to which they go, they will come to life in another 
kingdom which he has prepared for them, and that it is 
necessary to take food with them for the joui-ney. As if 
hell was so very far off ! 

This city of San Sebastian was founded by Alonzo de 
Heredia, brother of the Adelantado Don Pedro de Heredia, 
governor for his majesty of the province of Carthagena, as 
1 have said before. 


Of the road between the city of San Sebastian and the city of Antio- 
qnia, and of the wild beasts, forests, rivers, and other tilings in the 
way ; and how and in what season it can be passed. 

I POUND myself in this city of San Sebastian de Buena Vista 
in the year 1536, and in 1537 the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, 
Juoz de Residencia,^ and at that time governor of Cartha- 

1 For an account of the office and duties of a Juez de Residcncia, see 
a note at page 86 of my translated edition of " Alonzo Enriquez de Guz- 
man," printed for the Hakluyt Socikty in 18G2. 


gena, set out from it with one of the finest annies that had 
been seen in Tierra Firme. We were the first Spaniards 
who opened a road from the North to the South Sea. I 
journeyed from this town of Uraba as far as the town of 
Plata^ at the furthest extremity of Peru, and made a point 
of seeing all the provinces on my road, that I miglit be 
better able to note down what was worthy of remark. I 
will, therefoi-e, relate from this place forward all that I saw, 
without desiring to exaggerate or depreciate anything, and 
of this my readers may receive my assurance. 

I say, then, that on leaving San Sebastian de Buena 
Yista, which is the port of Uraba, to go to the city of 
Antioquia, the road runs by the coast for five leagues as 
far as the banks of a small river called Eio Verde, whence 
the distance to the city of Antioquia is forty-eight leagues. 
The whole country, from this river to certain mountains 
called Abibe, of which I shall speak presently, is flat, but 
covered with very dense forests, and traversed by many 
rivers. The district near the road is uninhabited, as the 
natives have retired to a distance from it. After reach- 
ing Rio Verde, the road keeps close to the banks of the 
river, the rest of the country being very densely covered 
with forest ; and to pass safely, it is necessary to travel in 
January, February, March, or April. After April the rains 
set in, and the rivers are swollen and rapid, so that even if 
it is possible to pass at all, it is at the cost of much danger 
and difiiculty. At all times those who travel by this road 
must take good guides, and must understand how to cross 
the rivers. In all these forests there are great herds of 
pigs, sometimes more than a thousand together, counting 
their young ones, and they make a great noise, so that 
those who travel with good dogs will not be in want of food. 
There are also great tapirs, Hons, bears, and tigers. In the 
trees are to be seen the most beautifully marked wild cats 
that can be found in the Avorld, and large monkeys, that 


make such a noise tliat, from a distance^ those who are new 
to the country would think they were pigs. When the 
Spaniards pass under the trees where the monkeys are, 
these creatures break off branches, and throw them down, 
making faces all the time. The rivers are so full of fish 
that with any net a great haul may be drawn. When we 
were going with the Captain Jorge Robledo from Antioquia 
to Carthagena, we saw so many fish that we could kill them 
with sticks. On the trees near the rivers, there is a crea- 
ture called yfjuana, which looks like a serpent, or like one 
of the large hzards of Spain, except that it has a larger 
head and longer tail, but in colour and shape it is exactly 
like. When skinned and roasted these creatures are as good 
to eat as rabbits ; to my mind they are even better, espe- 
cially the females, which have many eggs. But those who 
are not accustomed to them would be so frightened at the 
sight of them, that they would have no desire to eat them. 
No one can say for certain whether they are fish or flesh, 
for we see them run down the trees into the water, where 
they are quite at home ; and they are also found in the inte- 
rior, where there are no rivers. There are other creatures 
called Hicotcas,^ like turtles, which are also good eating. 
There are many turkeys, pheasants, and parrots of all 
kinds, as well as Guacamayas,^ with very bright plumage ; 
some small eagles, pigeons, partridges, doves, besides night- 
birds and other birds of prey. In these forests th-ere are 
very large snakes. I must here relate a circumstance 
which I hold to be certainly true, for it is attested by 
many men who are worthy of behef. It is that when 
the Lieutenant Juan Greciano was travelling by this road, 
by order of the licentiate Santa Cruz, in search of the 
licentiate Juan do Vadillo, in company with certain Spa- 
niards, among whom were Manuel de Peralta, Pedro de 
Barros, and Pedro Ximon, they met with a snake or ser- 
• The Emijs decusmta of Bell. It is a land tortoise. ^ ]\[acaws. 


pent, which was so large that it measured more than twenty- 
feet in length, and of great girth. Its head was a clear 
red, its eyes green and protruding, and, when they saw it, 
it levelled its head to strike at them, and, indeed, gave 
Pedro Ximon such a blow that he died. They found an 
entire deer in its belly ; and I heard it said that some of the 
Spaniards, owing to the hunger they felt, ate the deer and 
even a part of the snake. There are other snakes, not so 
large as this one, which make a noise when they walk hke 
the sound of bells. If these snakes bite a man they kill 
him. The Indians say that there are many other kinds of 
serpents and wild animals in these forests, which I do not 
describe as I have not seen them. There are abundance of 
the palm-trees of Uraba, and many ■^^dld fruits. 


Of the gi'andeiir of the mountains of Abibe, and of the admiralsle and 
useful timber which grows there. 

Having crossed these low forest covered plains, the way 
leads up a broad chain of mountains called Abibe.' This 
moimtain- chain extends to the west, over many provinces 
and uninhabited tracts. Its length is uncertain, but its 
breadth is in some places twenty leagues: in others much 
more, and in others a little less. The roads by which the In- 
dians crossed this wild chain of mountains (for many parts of it 
are inhabited) were so bad and difficult, that horses neither 
can nor ever will be able to pass over them. The Captain 
Francisco Cesar, was the first Spaniard who crossed this 

1 The Abibe mountains are a branch of the Andes, extending from the 
sliores of the guU of Darien to the village of the cacique Abibe, whence 
the range took its name. They are covered with dense forest, and the 
only paths are the tortuous beds of mountain torrents, flowing on one side 
to the Cauca river, and on the other to the gulf of Darien. 


range of mountains, and with mucli trouble he came to the 
valley of Guaco, which is on the other side. The roads are 
assuredly most difficult and wearisome, for they are full of 
evil places and thickets, while the roots are such that they 
entangle the feet of both men and horses. At the highest 
part of the mountains there is a very laborious ascent, and 
a still more dangerous descent on the other side. When we 
descended with the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, there being 
several very steep declivities, we made a sort of wall with 
ropes and stakes filled in with earth, so that the horses 
might be able to pass without danger, and although this 
contrivance was of some use, yet inany horses fell over and 
were dashed to pieces. Even among the Spaniards some 
were killed, and others were so much injured that they were 
unable longer to proceed, and remained in the forests, await- 
ing their deaths in great misery concealed by the brushwood, 
so that those who remained whole might not see them and 
carry them forward. Some of the horses, too, were so much 
exhausted that they could not go on, and many Negroes 
either fled or died. Certainly, we who passed over these 
mountains were in very evil case, seeing that we suflFered the 
hardships that I have just described. There are no inhabi- 
tants whatever in the higher parts of the mountains, or if 
there are, they live at a distance from the road by which we 
traversed them ; but in the valleys which run up into these 
mountains there are many Indians, who possess much gold. 
The rivers which descend from this range towards the west, 
bring down great store of gold. Nearly all the year round 
it rains, and the trees are always dropping water from their 
leaves. There is no fodder for the horses, except some 
small long prickly leaves, inside which grow small 'pahmtos, 
which are very bitter ; and I have been myself in such 
straits with weariness and hunger, that I have eaten them. 
As it is always raining, and the Spanish travellers are con- 
stantly wet, the whole of them would certainly die if they 


had no fire. But the giver of blessings, who is Christ our 
God and Lord, displays his power everywhere, and thinks it 
good to be merciful and to afford us a remedy for all our ills. 
Although there is no want of fire-wood in these mountains, 
yet it is so wet that if the fire was hghted it would go out. 
To provide for this want there are certain tall trees, some- 
thing hke an ash, the wood of which is white and very dry : 
when this wood is cut up and set fire to, it burns Hke candle- 
wood, and does not go out until it is consumed by the flames. 
We owe our Kves entirely to the discovery of this wood. 
^^^lere the Indians are settled there are plenty of supplies 
of fruit and fish, besides great store of brightly dyed cotton 
mantles. Here the evil root of Uraba is not found, and 
the Indians have no other arms than palm lances, clubs, and 
darts. They make bridges over the numerous rivers with 
stout creepers, which are Hke roots growing on the trees, 
and are as strong as hempen ropes. They make a great 
rope by twisting several of these together and throw it 
across the river, fastening each end securely to the trees, of 
which there are many near the banks. Several more are 
secm'ed in the same way, and thus a bridge is formed. The 
Indians and their wives pass across ; but they are so danger- 
ous that I should very much prefer walking over the bridge 
of Alcantara. Notwithstanding this, and in spite of the 
danger, the Indians, as I have said, go over laden, with their 
women and childi-en, with as little fear as if they were on 
firm land. All these Indians of the mountains are subject 
to a great and powerful cacique, called Nutibara. IIa\nng 
passed these moimtains, there is a very pretty valley where 
there is no forest, but naked hills : and the Indians have 
their roads on the plain and sides of the liills. 



Of the cacique Xutibpa'a, and of his territory : and of other caciques 
subject to the city of Aiitioquia. 

Whe:n' we entered this valley with the Licentiate Juan de 
Vadillo, it was scattered over with very large houses of wood 
thatched with straw, and the fields were full of all kinds of 
food. In the hills several dehghtful rivers rise, whose banks 
were covered with many kinds of fruit trees, with very tall 
slender palm trees, thorny, with a bunch of fruit called 
Pixihaes growing at the top. They make both bread and 
wine from this fruit, and when the tree is cut down, they 
take from it a good-sized pahniio, which is both sweet and 
wholesome. There are also many trees which we call 
aguacates, giiavas, guayavas, and very fragrant pines. 

The lord or king of this country was one named Nutibara, 
son of Anunaybe. He had a brother called Quinuchu, who 
was then his heutenant over the Indians that lived in the 
mountains of Abibe (which we had just crossed) and in other 
parts. This lieutenant supplied his lord with many pigs, 
fish, birds, and other things from that land, and sent him 
gold and apparel as tribute. When the lord went to war, 
he was followed by many people with their arms. When he 
travelled through the country, he sat on a litter inlaid -^Aatli 
gold, which was borne on the shoulders of his principal men. 
He had many wives. Near the door of his house, and the 
same thing was done at the houses of his captains, there 
were many heads of his enemies whom he had eaten, which 
were kept there as trophies. All the natives of this country 
eat human flesh. There are many large burial places which 
must needs be very rich. They had, in the first place, a 
great house or temple dedicated to the Devil. At the time 
that the Captain Francisco Cesar entered the valley, the 
natives rose in arms near tliat house or tcmjile, thinking that. 


as his followers were such bad christians they might easily kill 
them. Thus, more than 20,000 Indians came out to war with 
much noise ; but, although the Spanish party numbered no 
moi-e than twenty-nine or thirty horse, they showed so bold 
a front that the Indians fled after the battle had lasted a 
long time, leaving the field in possession of the christians, 
and on this occasion Cesar certainly showed himself to be 
worthy of so great a name. Those who may write respect- 
ing- Carthagena will have plenty to say of this captain ; but 
it will not behove me to write more concerning him than is 
necessary for the clearness of my narrative.^ If the Spaniards 
who entered this valley with Cesar were not numerous, they 

1 In 15;)7 Don Pedro de Heredia sent his lieutenant, Don Francisco 
Cesar, in search of the wealth of the cacique Dobaybe, which had been 
famous ever since the days of Vasco Nuilez. He set out from San Sebas- 
tian de Uraba with a hundred men and some horses, and crossed the 
mountains of Abibe, a barrier which had proved insurmountable to all 
previous explorers diu-ing twenty years. After passing over these moun- 
tains he descended into a valley ruled by the cacique Nutibara, with a 
force reduced to sixty-three men. The cacique attacked him with an 
array of thi-ee thousand Indians, but eventually retreated on the death of 
his brother. Nutibara caused the body to be placed on his own litter, 
and he was seen by the Spaniards to run by the side on foot for many 
miles, mourning his brother's loss, in the midst of the retreating host. 
CJesar fomid forty thousand ducats worth of gold in the tombs, in this 

Dm-ing Cesar's absence, the licentiate Pedro Vadillo, sent by the 
Audience of San Domingo to examine into the government of Carthagena, 
liad arrived there and tlrrown Heredia into prison. On his return the 
faithful lieutenant went first to the prison of his unfortunate master, and 
supphed him with funds to conduct his defence, and then paid his respects 
to Vadillo. The harsh conduct of Vadillo was disapproved in Spain, and 
it was resolved that a la^^'yer should be sent out to sit in judgment upon 
liim. The licentiate, who was a bold and audacious man, detennined to 
attempt some new discovery in anticipation of the arrival of his judge, in 
hopes of performing a service the importance of which might wijje off all 
former delinquencies. He, therefore, organized a force of foiu- hundred 
Spaniards at San Sebastian de Uraba, and, taking the gallant Cesar as 
his lieutenant, set out early in l.i38. Cieza de Leon, then nineteen years 
of age, accompanied this expedition. 


certainly all became ricli, and got plenty of gold ; but, 
afterwards, when we came, the Indians concealed their gold 
by the advice of the devil, as they themselves affirm. Be- 
fore these Indians gave battle to Captain Cesar, they took 
their gold to the temple which they had built (according to 
their own account) in honour of the devil ; and, when the 
Spaniards came there, digging in a certain part, they found 
a vault with the entrance towards the setting sun, in which 
there were many vases full of very fine ornaments of gold, 
altogether more than 21 quintals,^ worth upwards of 40,000 
ducats. They related that further on there was another 
house that contained more treasure, and they also stated 
that they found others stiU more rich in the valley. After- 
wards, when we arrived with Vadillo, we found the burial 
places opened, and the house or temple burnt. An Indian 
woman, who belonged to one Baptista Zimbron, said to me 
that after Cesar returned to Carthagena, aU the lords of 
these valleys assembled and performed sacrifices, when the 
devil appeared in the form of a very fierce tiger, (which in 
their language is called guaca), and said that those christians 
had come from the other side of the sea, and that soon many 
more would arrive to occupy and take possession of the land, 
and that they must prepare for war. He then disappeared, 
and the Indians began to prepare, first taking a great quan- 
tity of treasure out of the burial places. 

1 A quintal is ahout a hundredweight. 



of the customs of those Indians, of their anus, and of the ceremonies 
they i)erform ; and who the founder of the city of Antio<iuia was. 

The inhabitants of these valleys are brave amongst them- 
selves, and much feared by their neighbom-s. The men go 
naked and barefooted, and merely wear a narrow band 
fastened to a girdle round the waist. Their hair is worn 
very long. Their arms are darts, long lances of black 
palm, slings, and two-handed clubs, called Macanas} The 
women wear a mantle from the waist downwards of 
bright coloured cotton cloth. The lords, when they marry, 
make a sort of sacrifice to their gods. They assemble in 
a house to the number of about twelve, where the pret- 
tiest girls have already been assembled, and choose those 
they desire most. The son of the chosen woman inherits 
the lordship, and if there is no son, the son of the lord^s 
sister inherits. These people border on a province called 
Tatabe, which is thickly inhabited by rich and warlike 
Indians, whose customs are the same as those of their 
neighbours. Their houses are built over very large trees, 
and are made of many stout poles, each house having more 
than two hundred of them, and the coverings of these great 
houses consist of palm leaves. Many Indians live in one 
house, with their wives and children. These nations extend 
to the westward as far as the South Sea, and to the east 
they border on the great river of Darien. All their coimtry 
is mountainous, very rugged, and fearful to pass through. 
Near this country they say there is that grandeur and wealth 
of the Dabaybe which is so celebrated in Terra Firme.- In 

^ This word, as well as the word huaca^ at the end of the last chapter, 
are Quichua ; and Cieza de Leon must, I tliink, have confused them in his 
mind, in applying them to the language of the Indians of the Cauca valley. 

^ The wealth of the cacique Dabaybe is the theme of many old chroni- 
clers. He seems to have ruled a country near the river Ati-ato, where 


another part of the country, over which Nutibara is lord, 
there are some Indians Hving in a certain valley called Nore, 
which is very fertile. Near this valley is now built the 
city of Antioquia. In ancient times there was a large popu- 
lation in these vaUeys, as we judged from the edifices and 
burial places, of which there are many well worth seeing, 
being so large as to appear like small hills. 

These Indians, though they speak the same language as 
those of Gruaca, were always engaged in wai-s with them, so 
that the number of both nations has greatly diminished, for 
they eat all those that are captured, and place their heads 
before the doors of their houses. They go naked like the 
others, except that the chiefs sometimes cover themselves 
with a long mantle of coloured cotton. The women are 
covered with small mantles of the same material. Before 
passing on, I wish to relate a truly strange and wondrous 
thing. The second time that we returned through these 
valleys, when the city of Antioquia was founded near the hills 
which overhang them, I heard it said that the lords or 
caciques of the valley of Nore collected all the women they 
could find from the land of their enemies, took them home, 
and used them as if they had been their own. If any 
children were born, they were reared with much care until 
they reached the age of twelve or thirteen, and, being then 
plump and healthy, these caciques ate them vnth much 
fippetite, not considering that they were of their own flesh 
j'.nd blood. In this way they had many women solely to 
bring forth children, which were afterwards to be eaten : 
and this is the greatest of all the sins that these people 
commit. I saw myself what occurred between one of these 
chiefs and the licentiate Juan de Vadillo, who is now in 
Spain, and if he is asked respecting what I now write, he 
will say that it is true. It is that, when I and my comrades 

yold ornamonts arc frequently found at tlio ]iresent day. Vasco Nuuez 
de Balboa went in search of the Dabayhe. 


entered these valleys, a chief named Nabonuco came to us 
peaceably, and brought with him three women. When 
night came on, two of them laid down on a mat, and the 
other across it to serve as a pillow. The Indian then made 
his bed on the bodies of these women, and took another 
pretty woman by the hand. When the licentiate Juan de 
Vadillo saw this proceeding, he asked the Indian chief why 
he had brought that other woman whom he held by the 
hand. The chief rephed, in a gentle voice, looking him in 
the face, that he was going to eat her. On hearing this, 
YadiUo was astonished, and said, " What ! are you going to 
eat 3'our own wife ?" The chief, raising his voice, repHed, 
" Yes, truly ; and I will also eat the child she bears me.^^ 
This happened in the valley of Nore. I have heard this 
Hcentiate Juan de Vadillo sometimes say, that he had heard 
from some old Indians, that when the natives of Nore go to 
war, they make slaves of their prisoners, and marry them 
to their own relations and neighbours, and that the children 
thus born are eaten ; and that afterwards, when these slaves 
are too old to have any more children, they eat them also. 
In truth, as these Indians have no faith, I am not astonished 
at this. 

Owing to these wars, when we discovered the valleys, 
we found so many human heads at the doors of the chiefs' 
houses, that it seemed as if each one had been a butcher's 
shop. AVhen one of the chiefs dies, the people mourn for 
many days, cut oflF the hair of his wives, kiU those who 
were most beloved, and raise a tomb the size of a small hill, 
with an opening towards the rising Sim. Within this great 
tomb they make a large vault, and here they put the body, 
wrapped ui cloths, and the gold and arms the dead man had 
used when ahve. They then take the most beautiful of his 
wives and some servant lads, make them drunk with wine 
made with maize, and bury them ahve in that vault, in 
order that the chief may go down to hell with companions. 

E 2 


This city of Antioquia is situated in a valley between the 
famous^ notable, and rich rivers of Darien and of Santa 
Martha, for these valleys are between the two Cordilleras.^ 
The position of the city is very good, with Avide plains, near 
a small river. Many other rivers flow near it, which rise in 
the Cordilleras, and many springs of sweet and limpid 
water. All the rivers are full of very fine gold, and their 
banks are shaded by many kinds of fruit-trees. Antioquia 
is surrounded by extensive provinces, inhabited by Indians, 
very rich in gold, who use small scales to weigh it ; but 
they are all great eaters of human flesh, and when they take 
each other prisoners, they show no mercy. One day I saw 
in Antioquia, when we founded it in some hills where Cap- 
tain Jorge Robledo first fixed the site (which was afterwards 

' The pro\-ince of Antioquia, in New Granada, inclntling the lower 
part of the coiu-se of the great river Cauca, is stiE the least knowni part 
of Spanisli South America. Even now the account of this region given 
by Cieza de Leon in this and the following chapters, is the best that has 
been published. Humboldt was never there, nor is this coimtry described 
in such modern books of travels as those of Captain Coclu'ane, jNIolUen, 
or Holton. Some of these travellers, as well as General Mosquera in his 
pamplilet, give accounts of Cartago, Cali, and other places in the ujiper 
part' of the valley of the Cauca ; but none of them visited or described the 
lower part of the course of that river nor the province of Antioquia. 
Besides that of Cieza de Leon, I only know of one account of this pro- 
\ance, namely that MTitten in 1809 by Don Jose IVIanuel Restrepo, the 
colleague of the illustrious Caldas, which was published in the '■'■ Semanario 
ih la Nueva Granada^'" pp. 194-228. ■* 

Restrepo says that the proA^nce of Antioquia, one of the richest and 
most fertile in New Granada, was entirely unknown to geographers up to 
tlie tune when he wrote. No astronomical or other observation had ever 
been taken in it, and its rivers and other featm-es were either not marked 
at all, or put down in false positions on the maps. The first map of 
Antioquia, a copy of which is m the map room of the Royal Geographical 
Society, was made by Restrepo in 1807. He triangulated the whole pro- 
vince, corrected his bearings by sun's azimuths, took meridian altitudes 
of stars for his latitudes, and deeply regretted that he had no instruments 
to enable him to get his longitudes by observing tlie eclipses of rJupiter's 
satellites. In the Semanario Rcstrejx) gives a long and detailed geo- 
graphical description of the valley of the Cauca. 



changed by Captain Juan Cabrera to the site whore the city 
now stands), while walking in a field of maize, four Indians 
close to me, who met another, and killed him with their clubs. 
They then drank his blood and eat his entrails by mouthfuls. 
They have no arrows, nor do they use any other arms than 
the above. I have never seen any temple or house of wor- 
ship, except that which was burnt in the valley of Guaca. 
They all talk with the devil ; and in each village there are 
two or three old men who are adepts in the evil art of con- 
versing Avith him, and they announce what he desires to be 
done. They do not entirely attain to a belief in the immor- 
tality of the soul. The water and all that the earth pro- 
duces is referred to nature, although they well know there 
is a Creator, but their belief is false, as I shall relate 

The city of Antioquia was founded and settled by the 
Captain Jorge Robledo, in the name of his Majesty the 
Emperor Charles, King of Spain and of the Indies, our 
lord, and by order of the Adelantado Don Sebastian de 
Belalcazar, his governor and captain-general of the province 
of Popayan, in the year of the nativity of our Lord 1541. 
This city is in 7°of the equinoctial,^ on the north side.^ 

1 In latitude 6° 36' N. according to Restrepo. 

- It wUl be as well here to give, in a few lines, the fate of YadUlo's 
expedition. He led his men up the left bank of the Cauca, suffering 
terribly from want of proper food, the difficulties of the road, and the 
constant attacks of the Indians. At last his gallant lieutenant Francisco 
Cesar died. His death filled the soldiers with consternation, and they 
clamom-ed for a retreat to the coast. This, however, did not at all suit 
the views of YadUlo, who knew that uuprisomnent was awaiting liim at 
Carthagena ; and, when the discontent of his men became formidable, he 
di-ew his sword and rushed alone into the woods, ciying out that, let who 
woiUd go back, he should press on till he met with better fortune. The 
men were ashamed and followed him, and eventually reached Cali. Here 
at last Yadillo was deserted by most of his people, lie went on nearly alone 
to Pojxiyan, was sent by sea to Panama, and thence to Sj)ain for tiial. 
He died in poverty at SeviEe, before the termination of his trial. Tliis 
soldierlike lawyer thus completed the discovery of the course of the river 



Of the description of the i^roviuce of Poijayau, and the I'easoii why the 
natives of it are so wild, and those of Peru so gentle. 

As the captains from Peru discovered and settled in this 
province of Popayan, they speak of it as a part of, and one 
with, that land of Peru ; but I cannot consider it in that 
light, because the people, the land, and all other things in 
it are different. 

This province was called Popayan from the city of 
Popayan, which is in it. It is 200 leagues long, little more 
or less, and thirty or forty broad, in some parts more, and 
in others, less. On one side it has the coast of the South 
Sea, and some very high rugged mountains to the west- 
ward. On the other side are the main Cordilleras of the 
Andes ; and between these mountains rise many rivers, 
some of them, being very large, forming broad valleys. 
One of these, which is the largest in all this land, is the 
great river of Santa Martha. The towns of Pasto, Popayan, 
and Timana are included in this government, and the city of 

Cauca. Though harsh and obstinate, he was a bi-ave commander, and 
cheerfully shared all privations with his men. 

]\Ieanwhile the licentiate Santa Cruz, who had arrived at Carthagena 
with orders to arrest Vadillo, sent two officers in chase of him in 1538. 
It is of one of these officers, named Juan Greciano, that a stoiy is told at 
p. 42. Their troops met those of the captain Don Jorge llobledo, who 
had advanced down the Cauca from Cali, and jomed them. 

The expeditions of Cesar and Vadillo, the first discoverers of the valley 
of the Cauca, thus came to an end without a foot of ground ha\Tng been 
pennanently conquered. Tlie same fate did not attend the next invader, 
Don Jorge Kol)ledo. lie had accompanied Belalcazar from Quito to 
Popayan, and in l.")41 set out from CaU with one hundred and thirty men, 
for the conquest of iVntioquia. Oiu- young author, on the breaking up 
of Vadillo's expedition, seems to have joined that of Robledo, whose 
fortunes he followed for some tune; and he witnessed the conquest of 
many Indian tribes, and the foundation and settlement of several Spanish 
towns in this valley of the ( 'auca. 


Call, near the port of Buenaventura ; besides the towns of 
Anzerma, Cartago, Arma, Antio(juia, and others which 
were founded after I left the country. In this province 
some parts are cold and others hot, some healthy and others 
pestilential. In some parts it rains much, in others little. 
In some parts the Indians are cannibals, in others not. On 
one side it borders on the new kingdom of New Granada, 
on the other, on the kingdom of Peru. To the west, it is 
bounded by the government of the river of San Juan ; to 
the north, by that of Carthagena. 

Many have wondered how it is that these Indians, having 
their dwellings in positions exposed to invasion, and, except 
in Pasto, the country being neither too hot nor too cold, 
but in all things convenient for conquest, should be so 
untameable and obstinate ; while those in Peru, with their 
forest-covered valleys, snowy mountains, and greater num- 
bers, are so gentle and submissive. To this I would answer 
that the Indians of the government of Popayan are, and 
always have been, in a state of confusion, and they have 
never been ruled by a chief whom they feared. They are 
lazy and idle, and, above all, they detest being under sub- 
jection to any one, which is a sufficient cause for resisting 
the yoke of strangers. Another reason is to be found in 
the fertility of the soil, while in some parts there are dense 
forests, cane brakes, and other fastnesses ; so that when the 
Spaniards press on these Indians, they burn their houses, 
which are of wood and straw, and retreat for a league or 
two, making other dwellings within three or four days, and 
sowing as much maize as they require, which they reap 
within four months. If the}^ are still pursued, they once 
more abandon their homes, and retreat ; for wherever they 
go they find a fertile land ready to supply them with its 
fruits, so that war or peace are in their own hands; and 
they never want for food. The Peruvians, on the contrary, 
are docile because they have more understanding, and 


because they were subject to the Kings Yncas, to whom they 
paid tribute, and whom they always served. In this condition 
they were born ; and if any did not wish to obey, they were 
constrained to do so, for the land of Peru is full of mountain- 
ous tracts and snowy plains. If, therefore, they were to fly 
from their homes to these wilds, they could not hve, for the 
land does not yield fruit, so that they must serve in order to 
live, which is quite sufiicient reason to resolve the doubt. 

I now propose to pass on, giving a particular account of 
the provinces of this government, and of the Spanish cities 
which have been founded in it, and stating who were the 
founders. From the city of Antioquia there are two roads, 
one to go to the town of Anzerma, and the other to go to 
the city of Cartago ; and before I relate what is worthy of 
notice on the road to Cartago and Arma, I will give an 
account of the town of Anzerma, and then return to do the 
same by the other route. 


Containing an account of the road between the city of Antioquia and 
the town of Aiizerma, and of the region which lies on either side 
of it. 

Staeting from the city of Antioquia and travelling towards 
the town of Anzerma, one sees the rich and famous hill of 
Buritica, whence such a vast quantity of gold has been taken 
in times past. The distance from Antioquia to Anzerma is 
seventy leagues, and the road is very rough, with naked hills 
and few trees. The greater part is inhabited by Indians, but 
their houses are a long way from the road. After leaving 
Antioquia one comes to a small hill called Corome, which is 
in a h'ttle valley wlicre tlicre used to be a ])opulous village of 


Indians ; but since the Spaniards came as conquerors, the 
Indians have greatly diminished in numbers. This village had 
many rich gold mines, and also streams whence they could ob- 
tain gold. There are few fruit trees, and the maize pelds small 
crops. The Indians are the same as those we had already 
met with, in language and customs. Further on there is a 
settlement on the top of a great hill, where there used to be 
a village of large houses inhabited by miners, who became 
very rich by collecting gold. The neighbouring caciques 
had their houses here also, and their servants obtained a 
great quantity of gold. From this hill came the greater 
part of the riches which were found at Genu in the burial 
places, and I saw very fine gold in abundance taken from 
them, before we went to the discovery of Urute with the 
Captain Alonzo de Caceres. 

When we discovered this village, with the Licentiate Juan 
de Vadillo, I remember that a priest who accompanied the 
expedition, named Francisco de Frias, found a Totuma, 
which is a sort of large glazed earthen jug, full of earth, 
and he sorted very large grains of gold out of it. We also 
saw here the sources whence they extract the gold, and the 
tools with which they work. When the Captain Jorge de 
Robledo founded the city of Antioquia, he went to see these 
gold washings, and they washed a lump of earth, extracting 
a quantity of very fine grains which one of the miners 
affirmed to be gold, but another said it was not gold, but 
what we call marcasite. As we were on a journey we could 
not stop to examine further. When the Spaniards entered 
this village the Indians burnt it, and they have shown no 
desire to settle there again. I recollect that a soldier named 
Toribio, going to seek for food, found a stone in a river as 
big as a man's head, covered with veins of gold which pene- 
trated from one side of the stone to the other : and when he 
saw it, he put it on his shoulders to carry it to the camp. As 
he was going up a hill, he met a small Indian dog, and when 


lie saw it he turned to kill it for food, dropping tlie stone 
wliicli rolled back again into the river. Toribio killed the 
dog, thinking it worth more than gold, such was liis hunger, 
and thus the stone remained in the river where it was before. 
In another river I saw a negro, belonging to the Captain 
Jorge Robledo, wash large grains of gold out of a lump of 
earth. In fine, if the people were more docile and better 
conditioned, and not such eaters of human food : and if our 
governors and captains were more pious and had not ill- 
treated them, this province would be very rich. 

Near this village, which is on the top of a hill called Buri- 
tica, a small river rises and flows through a valley where there 
is a mining establishment formed by the same captain, Jorge 
Robledo, and called Santa Fe, which is subject to the city of 
Antioquia. The mines have been found to be very rich near 
the great river of Santa Martha, which flows close by the 
estabhshment, and during the summer the Indians and Ne- 
groes get much wealth from the banks, and hereafter, when 
there are more Negroes, they will procure more gold. There 
is also another settlement near the beforementioned village, 
called Xundabe, inhabited by Indians with the same lan- 
guage and customs. Fm'ther on there is another village called 
Caramanta, the name of the cacique or lord of which is 

^ The river Cauca is still noted for its gold washings, and mines. 
Boritica, the very place alluded to by our author, is also mentioned by 
Restrepo as having once yielded great treasure, though now exhausted. 
The gold of the Cauca valley is mentioned as one of the resources of New 
Granada in a letter to the Connnittee of Spanish American Bondholders 
{New Granada and its Internal Resources, p. 27.) In the beginning of 
the present century, the Viccroyalty of New Granada yielded 20,505 marcs 
of gold, worth 2,990,000 dollars, according to Hmnboldt. In 1850 the 
produce of gold in New Granada was worth £252,407. 



Of the customs of the Indians of this land, and of tlie forests tluit must 
be traversed in order to reach the town of Anzerma. 

The people of this pro\ance are warlike, and their language 
is difi'erent from the others we had met with. The countiy 
is covered in all parts by dense forests, and a broad river 
tlows through it, swelled by many streams and fountains 
where they make salt — a ti'uly \V^3nderful and prodigious 
fact : and of it, as well as of many other things in this 
province, I will speak presently, when the narrative affords 
a suitable place. There is a small lake in the valley where 
they make very white salt. The Lords or Caciques and 
their Captains have very large houses, and near the doors 
there are stout canes that grow in these parts, on the tops 
of which are placed many heads of their enemies. When 
they go to war, they take sharp knives made of reeds or 
flint, or of the bark of canes, which they can also make very 
sharp, and with these they cut off the heads of their cap- 
tives. To others they give most terrible deaths, cutting off 
their limbs, eating them, and placing their heads on the 
tops of canes. Amongst these canes they place certain 
boards on which they carve the figure of a devil, very 
fierce, and in human form, "with other idols and figures of 
cats which they worship. When they requii-e water or sun- 
shine for their crops, they seek aid from these idols. Those 
who are set apart for that purpose talk with the devil, and are 
great sorcerers and magicians. They believe in and watch 
for signs and prodigies, and presei-ve those superstitions 
which the devil suggests : such is the power he has over 
these Indians — God our Lord permitting it for their sins, or 
for some other reason known to himself. They said, when 
we first discovered the country with the Licentiate Juan de 
Vadillo, that their chief, named Cauroma, had many idols of 


veiy fine gold : and they say that there is such abundance of 
that metalj that the chief can get as much as he hkes from a 
certain river. 

These Indians are great butchers in the matter of eating 
human flesh. Near the doors of their houses there are small 
open spaces where they have their places of sepulture, accord- 
ing to the custom of their country, consisting of very deep 
vaults, with their openings facing the east. When a chief 
dies, they place him in one of these vaults with much 
mourning, putting his arms and clothes, the gold he pos- 
sessed, and some food, with the body. From this circum- 
stance we conjecture that the Indians certainly gave some 
credit to the thought that the soul leaves the body. 

The country is well sujaplied with provisions, and fertile, 
yielding crops of maize and edible roots. There are scarcely 
any fruit trees. 

To the eastward of this province there is another called 
Cartama, which is the limit of the discoveries of Sebastian 
de Belalcazar. The Indians are rich in gold, have small 
houses, and all go naked and barefooted, without anything 
more than a small band, with which they cover their shame. 
The women wear small mantles of cotton from the waist 
downwards, but are otherwise uncovered. 

Beyond the pro\ance of Cartama there is a forest, extend- 
ing more than seven leagues, and very dense ; and here we 
sufiered much from hunger and cold when we went with 
Vadillo ; and I may truly affirm that in all my life I never 
suffered such hunger as during that journey, although I have 
sei'ved in some expeditions of discovery in which we under- 
went great hardships. We found om'selves in so sad a plight 
in these dense forests, where the sun could not penetrate, 
without roads, or guides, nor any one to tell us whether we 
were far from or near any inhabited part, that we were 
inclined to return to Carthagena. It was a great thing for 
us to find that wood which I described as g'rowinof in the 



mountains of Abibc, for with it we could make a fire, as it 
will always burn whenever it is required to do so. By the 
help of God, and with the aid of our own arms, with which 
we forced a way, we got through these forests, in which we 
left several Spaniards dead from hunger, and many horses. 
Beyond, there is a small valley clear of trees, and a little 
farther on we came to a large and beautiful valley, very- 
populous, with the houses all new, and close to each other. 
Some of them were very large, and the fields were full of 
maize crops and edible roots. Afterwards, the inhabitants 
of this valley left their old home, fleeing from the cruelties 
of the Spaniards, and took refuge in some wild and lofty 
mountains, which overhang the valley called Cima. Two 
leagues and a half beyond this valley, there is another small 
one, formed by a spur which runs out from the Cordillera ; 
and here the town of Anzerma is founded, which was first 
called the city of Santa Ana de los Cavalleros. It is built 
between two small rivers, on a rising ground, which is 
covered with beautiful trees, and fruit trees both of Europe 
and of the country, and excellent crops of beans. The city 
overlooks all the district, being the highest part of the 
rising ground, and no people can approach without being 
first seen from the town. On all sides it is surrounded by 
great villages, ruled over by many caciques or lords, who 
are all friendly to each other. The villages are close toge- 
ther, and the houses are divided from each other by short 



Of the customs of the Caciques and Indians in the neighbourhood of 
the town of Anzerma, of the founding of that town, and who its 
founder was. 

The place on wliich tlie town of Anzerma is built is called 
by the natives Umbra, and when the Adelantado Sebastian 
de Belalcazar entered this province, as he had no inter- 
preter, he could understand none of its secrets. He heard 
the Indians, when they saw salt, call it Anzer, and this is 
true, for among them it has no other namej and this is 
the reason that from that time, in speaking of the place, 
they have called it Anzerma, and have given this name to 
the town. Four leagues to the westward, there is a village 
which, though not very large, is inhabited by many Indians. 
as it has large houses and broad lands. In the road to it 
there is a small river, and it is a league from the great and 
rich river of Santa Martha. These Indians had for their 
captain and chief a well-disposed man named Ciricha. He 
has, or had when I saw the place, a very large house at the 
entrance of the village, and many others in different parts. 
Near the large house there is a small court sm-rounded by 
the canes I have abeady described as having seen in Cara- 
manta, and on the top of each was the head of an Indian who 
had been eaten. The chief had many wives. These Indians 
have the same language and customs as those of Caramanta, 
but are even greater butchers and eaters of hmnan flesh. 

That the difficulties of the discovery of this coimtry may 
be known, I desire to relate what happened in this village, 
at the time when we entered it with the licentiate Juan de 
Vadillo. As the stores of maize had been carried off, we 
neither found that nor anything else to eat, and it was more 
than a year since wc had eaten meat, except that of the 
horses that had died, and of a few dogs. We even had no 


salt, such was the misery we endured. At this time twenty- 
five or thirty soldiers set out to procure, or, to speak more 
plainl}^, to rob whatever they could find, and, near the great 
river they came upon some people who fled, for fear of being 
seen and taken prisoners by us. Here the soldiers found a 
great pot full of cooked flesh, and they were so hungry that 
they thought of nothing but eating it, supposing it was the 
flesh of creatures called cnis,^ because some came out of the 
pot. As soon as they had well eaten, one of them took out 
of the pot a hand with its fingers and nails, and they also 
found pieces of the feet and other parts of a man. When 
the Spaniards saw these things, they were troubled at 
having eaten of such meat, and the sight of the fingers and 
hands caused them much sorrow ; but they returned to the 
camp, from which they had set out half dead with hunger. 

Many small rivers rise in the mountains near tliis village, 
where much very rich gold has been taken by these Indians 
and by Negroes. These Indians are friends and allies of those 
of Caramanta, but they were always at war with their other 
neighbours. There is a strong position in the village, which 
they garrison in time of war. They go naked and bare- 
footed, and the women wear small mantles, and are good 
looking — some of them beautiful. Further on is the district 
of Sopia, and between these two places there flows a river 
rich in gold, where the Spaniards have estabhshed some 
farms. The people of the last named district also go naked. 
The houses are like those of other Indians, and within them 
there are great sepulchres where they bury their dead. They 
have no idols nor house of worship that we saw. They talk 
with the devil. They marry their nieces, and sometimes 

1 Citi, according to Velasco. is the smallest kind of rabbit in the country. 
From most ancient times the Indians have bred great quantities of these 
Cnis or Ccot/s (guinea pigs) in their houses. He describes them as under 
five or six dedos, but very broad and thick, with roimd ears, great variety 
in coloiu-, and very fat delicate flesh. Hist, de Quito, i, p. 89. 


their sisters, and the sou of the principal wife inherits the 
lordship ; for all these Indians, if they are chiefs, have many 
wives. If a chief has no son, the son of his sister succeeds. 
This district borders on the province of Cartama, in going 
to which the great river is crossed. On the other side is 
the province of Pozo, of which we shaU have to treat further 
on. To the east of Anzerma there are other large villages, 
full of fruit gardens and cultivated fields, whose chiefs are 
friendly. They are aU allies, although at times there is 
enmity and war amongst them. They are not such butchers 
and eaters of human flesh as the others whom I have de- 
scribed. The caciques are very rich, and before the Span- 
iards came, they went about in hammocks and htters. They 
have many wives, who, considering that they are Indians, 
are beautiful. They wear handsome coloured mantles of 

The men go naked, but the principal chiefs cover them- 
selves with a large mantle. The women are dressed as I 
have before said, they comb out their hair, and wear very 
beautiful necklaces made of pieces of fine gold, and earrings. 
They also sKt their nostrils and insert pieces of gold in the 
opening, some large and others small. The chiefs had many 
drinking cups of gold, and mantles, both for themselves and 
their wives, garnished with pieces of gold, some round and 
others in the shape of stars. They caU the devil Xisarama, 
and the Spaniards Tamaraca. Some of them are great 
sorcerers and herb doctors. Thc^r daughters are married 
after they have ceased to be virgins, and they do not hold 
virginity to be a thing of any estimation. When they marry 
they use no kind of ceremony. When their chiefs die in a 
part of this province called Tauya, they place their bodies in 
hammocks and light fires all round. Holes are dug beneath, 
into which the melted fat drops, and when the body is half 
burnt, the relations come and make great lamentations, 
di-inking their wine, and reciting their songs of praise to 


their gods according to their custom, and as they have been 
taught by their elders. This being done, they Avrap the 
bodies in shrouds, and keep them for several years unin- 
terred. When they are thoroughly dried up, they put them 
into sepulchres which they make in their houses. In the 
other provinces, when a chief dies, they make a very deep 
sepulchre in the lofty parts of the mountains, and, after 
much lamentation, they put the body in it, wrapped in many 
rich cloths, with arms on one side and plenty of food on the 
other, great jars of wine, plumes, and gold ornaments. At 
his feet they bury some of his most beloved and beautiful 
women ahve ; holding it for certain that he will come to life, 
and make use of what they have placed round him. 

These Indians use darts, lances, and clubs, some of black 
palm wood, and others of a white wood which grows in 
those parts. We did not see any house of worship in their 
country. When they talk with the devil, they say that it 
becomes dark, and that one who is chosen from the rest 
speaks for the others. The country, where these people have 
their villages, consists of very lofty mountains without any 
trees. To the westward there is a vast forest called Cima, 
and further on, towards the South Sea, there are many 
Indians and large villages ; and it seems certain that the 
great river of Darien^ rises there. 

This town of Anzerma was founded by the captain Jorge 
Eobledo in the name of his Majesty, the Adelantado Don 
Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general of all 
these provinces : although it is true that Lorenzo de Aldana, 
the lieutenant-general for Don Francisco Pizarro in the city 
of Cali, named the municipahty, and appointed as alcaldes 
Suer de Nava and Martin de Amoroto, and as alguazil- 
mayor Ruy Yenegas, and sent Robledo to people this city, 
now called a town, ordering him to call it Santa Anna de los 
Caballeros. Thus some credit for the foundation of Anzerma 
may, for these reasons, be given to Lorenzo de Aldana. 
1 Tlio Atrato. F 



Concerning the provinces and towns between the city of Antiochia ami 
the town of Arma ; and of the customs of the natives. 

Here I will cease from following tlie road whicli I had cora- 
menced, and, returning to tlie city of Antiochia, I will give 
an account of the road which leads thence to the town of 
Arma, and even as far as the city of Cartage. After setting 
out from the city of Antiochia to go to the town of Arma, 
the great river of Santa Martha is reached, a joui-ney of 
twelve leagues.^ To cross the river there is a boat, or at 
least there is no want of materials for making one. There 
are few Indians on the banks of the river, and the villages 
are small, for the inhabitants have retired to a distance from 
the road. After travelling for some leagues a village is 
reached, which used to be very large. It was called the 
" Pueblo llano," but when the Spaniards entered the coun- 
try, the natives fled to certain mountains which were little 
more than two leagues distant. The Indians are small, and 
they use arrows, which must have been brought from the 
other side of the Andes, for the natives of those parts have 
them. They are great traders, and their principal article of 
trade is salt. They go naked, the women wearing very 
small cloths from the belly to the thighs. They are rich in 
gold, and their rivers contain abundance of that metal. 
Their habits and customs are like those of the neighbouring 
tribes. Beyond this village there is another called Mugia, 
where there is a great quantity of salt, and many traders 
carry it over the mountains and obtain in exchange great 
sums of gold, cotton cloths, and other things which they 

1 Cieza de Leon calls the Cauca, the river of Santa INIartha. In tliis 
part of its course it flows between two chains of mountains, wliich only 
leave a space of one hundred or two hundred yards between them and tlie 
river. The stream is full of hu^e blocks of rock causing numerous raj)ids, 
and impeding navigation. 

PEDRO DE CIE'/A 1)1': LEON. 67 

require. Further on I shall treat of this salt, how it is ob- 
tained, and how they carry it. 

Beyond ]\Iugia, towards the east, is the valley of Aburra, 
to go to which it is necessary to cross the Andes, which is 
done very easily as there is little forest, and the journey only 
takes one day. We discovered this valley with captain 
Jorge Robledo, but we only saw a few small villages, dif- 
ferent from those we had already passed, and not so rich. 
AVTien we entered this valley of Aburra, the detestation we 
conceived for the natives was such that we hung them and 
their women to the boughs of trees by their hair, and, amidst 
grievous moans, we left their bodies there, while their souls 
went down to hell. The land is very fertile in this valley of 
Aburra, and several rivers flow through it. Further on 
there is a very large ancient road, and others by which the 
people communicate with those to the eastward, which are 
numerous and great, but we heard of them by common 
report, and did not know them from personal inspection. 
We next arrived at a village called Cenasura, which is rich, 
and it is believed that there are here some very rich burial 
places. The Indians are fine men ; they go naked like the 
others, and resemble them in their habits. At the village of 
Blanco, some distance beyond Cenasura, we left the great 
river on the right hand, in order to go to the town of Arma. 

There are many other rivers on this route, which I do 
not enumerate, because they have not all got names. Near 
Cenasura there is a river flowing over a very stony bed, 
and nearly a day^s journey along its banks, on the left hand, 
there is a large and very populous district concerning which 
I shall presently write. These districts were at first placed 
under the city of Cartago (the great river forming the 
boundary) by Captain Jorge Robledo, who discovered 
them ; but as the Indians were so untameable, and opposed 
to service at Cartago, the adelantado Belalcazar, governor 
for his IMajesty, oi'dered that these villages should be sepa- 



rated from Cartago, and tliat a town of Spaniards should be 
founded in the midst of them. This was done, and the 
town was formed by Miguel Muiioz, in the name of his 
Majesty, the adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar being- 
governor of the province, in the year 1542. It was first 
founded on a hill at the entrance of the province of Arma, 
but the war which the natives carried on against the 
Spaniards was so fierce that, for this reason, and because 
there was little room to sow crops and establish farms, it 
was removed a little more than two leagues nearer the 
great river. The site is twenty-three leagues from the city 
of Cartago, twelve from the town of Anzerma, and one from 
the great river, on a plain between two small rivers, and 
is surrounded by great palm trees, which are different from 
those I have already described, though more useful, for very 
savoury jpalmitos are taken from them, and their fruit is 
also savoury, for when it is broken with stones, milk flows 
out, and they even make a kind of cream and butter from it, 
which they use for fighting lamps. ^ I have seen that which 
I now relate, and it all comes within my own experience. 
The site of this town is considered rather unhealthy, but 
the land is very fertile. AfciHec/a of maize yields a hundred- 
fold and more, and they sow the maize twice a year, and 
other produce yields in the same proportion. Up to the 
present time no wheat has been sown, so that I cannot 
affirm whether it will yield a harvest or not. The mines are 
richer on the great river, which is a league from this town, 
than in other parts, for if Negroes are set to work, a day 
will not pass without each man giving two or three ducats 
to his master. As time wears on, this will come to be among 
the richest districts of the Indies. 

The repurfiiiiieiito' of Indians which I received for my 

' Prol);il)ly tlu" Veroxijlon andicola. 

" A repartimiento was a grant of Indians, who were bound to pay 
tribute and to render personal service. 


services was in the neig-libourliood of this city. I could 
wish to use my pen at more length on this subject (but the 
state of affairs will not permit it), principally because many 
of my companions, the discoverers and conquerors who set 
out with me from Carthagena, are without Indians, or only 
possess those which they have had to pay for, which is 
certainly no small grievance. 


Of the province of Arma, of the customs of the natives, and of other 
notable things. 

This province of Arma, whence the town took its name, is 
very large and populous, and the I'ichest in this part of the 
country; it contains twenty thousand Indians capable of 
bearing arms, not counting women and children, or did so 
when I wrote this, which was at the time when Christian 
Spaniards first entered the country. Their houses are large 
and round, made of long poles and beams, which curve 
upwards from the ground, and the roof is of straw. In 
these houses there are several divisions, partitioned off by 
reeds, and many people live in them. The province is about 
ten leagues long, by six or seven broad, a little more or 
less, broken up into rugged mountain ranges without forest. 
The valleys are like orchards, being full of all kinds of 
fruit trees, such as are found in this country, besides a 
very delicious fruit of a brown colour, csdled pitahaija.^ This 
fruit has the pecuharity of making the urine of those who 
eat it, even though it be only one, of the colour of blood. 
In the hills there is another fruit which I take to be very 
curious, called vuillas.^ It is small, and has a pleasant smell. 

' Or Pitajaya {Cereus Pitajaya, De Cand.), a cactus used for making 
fences. - Vanilla ? 


Some rivers rise in tlie mountains, and one of tliem, 
called the river of Arma, is troublesome to cross in tlie 
winter. The others are not large, but, from their appear- 
ance I certainly think that in time they will get as much 
gold from them as they do iron out of Biscay. Those who 
may read this, and have, hke me, visited the country, will 
not consider this statement fabulous. The Indians have 
their workshops on the banks of the rivers, and they are 
continually waging cruel wars against each other. The 
languages of the Indians differ in many parts, and almost 
in every hamlet there is a distinct language. They were, 
and are, marvellously rich in gold, and if these natives of 
the province of Arma were as intelligent and docile as those 
of Peru, I will be bound to say that their mines would not 
fail to yield more than 500,000 fesos de oro. They have, or 
once had, many rich ornaments of this metal, which is so 
fine as to reach to at least nineteen c£uilates} When they 
go to war they wear crowns with beautiful plumes, with 
plates on their breasts, armlets, and many other ornaments. 

When we discovered them, the first time we entered the 
province with the captain Jorge Robledo, I remember 
we saw armed Indians covered with gold from head to foot, 
and the place where we first saw them is called to this day 
" Loma de los Armados." Their houses are built on the 
level places at the foot of the hills, which are very rugged. 
They have large fortresses built of stout canes pulled up by 
the roots, which are placed in rows by twenties, like a 
sti-eet, and in the centre they have, or had, when I saw the 
place, a high platform, well built of the same canes, with 
steps up to it, where they ofiered sacrifices. 

• Or carats, a small weight used for gold and silver. It was the twenty- 
fourth part of a marc, so that nineteen carats would mean nineteen parts 
of pure gold and five of alloy, in the marc. 



The sacrifices offered up by these Indians, and what great butchers they 
are in the matter of eating human flesh. 

The arms used by these Indians are darts, lances, slings, 
and blow-pipes. They are great lovers of noise, and when 
they go to war they take drums, flutes, and other instru- 
ments. They are deceitful and word breakers, nor will 
they keep the peace they have promised. Of the war they 
waged with the Spaniards I will treat in its proper place. 
Veiy great is the dominion that the devil, enemy of the 
human race, is allowed by God to have over this people, by 
reason of their sins, and often is he visibly amongst them. 
On the above-mentioned platform they have many cords 
fastened in the manner of a net, each forty hrazas long, and 
we made use of these ropes for sandals. On the top of the 
platform they fastened the Indians whom they took in war 
by the shoulders, and cut out their hearts, which they 
ofiered to their gods or to the devil, in whose honour they 
made these sacrifices. Presently, without any long delay, 
they eat those whom they had thus killed. I saw no house 
of worship, but in the houses of the chiefs there were 
chambers well covered with mats and much ornamented. 
I saw one of these chapels in Paucora, as wiU be mentioned 
further on. In the furthest end of it there was a recess 
containing many clay vessels for incense, in which they 
burnt certain small herbs instead of incense. I saw these 
plants in the land of a lord of this province named Yayo, 
and they were so small as hardly to rise above the ground ; 
some had a very black, and others a white flower; their 
smell resembled that of verbena. These, with other resins, 
they burnt before their idols. After they have performed 
these and other superstitious rites, the devil comes. They 
relate that he appears in the form of an Indian, with very 


bright eyes, and gives replies to the priests or ministers, to 
questions they ask him, concerning what they wish to know. 
Up to this time there are no clergymen or friars in any of 
these provinces, for the Indians are so evil disposed, and 
such butchers, that many of them have eaten the knights 
who possessed eiicomiendas^ amongst them; yet, when they 
go to the Spanish settlements, they put aside their Gentile 
customs and vanities, and conform to our religion, receiving 
the water of baptism. And, God permitting, some chiefs of 
the provinces of this government have turned Christians, 
and abhor the devil, eschewing their former evil works. 

The people of this province of Arma are of middle height, 
and all dark coloured, insomuch that in colour all the Indian 
men and women of these parts (where there is such a 
multitude of people as scarcely to be numbered, and so wide 
an extent of country) appear as if they were all children of 
one father and mother. The women of these Indians are 
the ughest and dirtiest that I have seen in all these parts. 
Both men and women go naked, except that, to conceal 
their shame, they put a bit of cloth in front, a ^almo broad, 
and a pahno and a half long, with which they cover them- 
selves in front ; for the rest they go quite naked. Some of 
the women go shorn, as do their husbands. 

The fruits and other provisions they have are maize and 

» Encomiendas were estates gTanted to the Spanish conquerors, the 
inhabitants of which were bound to pay tribute and to render personal 
service to the holders of the grants. Pizarro was empowered to grant 
encomiendas to his followere in 1529, and in 15;36 these grants were 
extended to two Hves ; but by the " Xew Laws," enacted in 1542, the 
encomiendm were to pass immediately to the crown after the death of 
the actual holders, and a fixed smu was to be settled as tribute to be paid 
by the Indians. All forced laboiu' was also absolutely forbidden. The 
conquerors were furious at the promulgation of these humane laws, and, 
it being considered unsafe to enforce them, they were revoked in 1545. 
The president Gasca redistributed the encomiendas in Peru in 1550, and 
they were gi-anted for three lives in 1629. For further information on 
this subject see my Travels in Peru and India, chap. viii. 


yucas,^ besides many other nourishing roots, some guaijavnn,^ 
2)altas,^ and pahns of the Pixiuaes. The chiefs marry those 
women they most fancy, keeping one of them as the prin- 
cipal wife. The other Indians marry daughters and sisters 
of their neighbours without any order, and few find their 
wives to be virgins. The chiefs may have many wives, 
other men have one, two, or three, according to their means. 
WTien they die, the chiefs are buried in their houses, or on 
the heights of the mountains with the usual ceremonies 
and mourning. The sons succeed their fathers in the 
chieftainship, and in their houses and lands. Failing a son, 
the heir is the son of the sister, and not of the brother. 
Further on I will relate the reason of this custom of the 
nephew who is son of the sister, and not he who is son of 
the brother, inheriting, in the greater part of these pro- 
vinces, according to what I have heard from many of the 
natives. The Indians are so fond of eating human flesh, 
that they have been seen to take women on the point of 
bringing forth, quickly open their bellies with knives of 
stone or cane, and take out the child ; then, having made a 
great fire, they toast and eat it, together with the mother, 
and all is done with such rapidity that it is a thing to 
marvel at. For these sins, and for others that these Indians 
commit. Divine Providence has ordained that, though they 
are so widely separated from our region of Spain as to make 
it appear almost impossible to go from the one place to the 
other, yet that roads and ways over the mighty ocean should 
be opened to these lands, where only ten or fifteen Chris- 
tians together conquer and subdue one thousand to ten thou- 
sand of these Indians. I do not believe, however, that this 
arises from oui' merits, for we are indeed great sinners ; but 
because Grod chooses to punish these people by our means, 
and therefore permits these events to happen as they do. 

' Jatropha Manikot, Lin., an excellent edible root. 

^ Psidium Giuiijavi Radrli. ^ Persea gmtissima. IX.V. 


But to return to our narrative : these Indians liave no 
belief, so far as I can make out^ nor do they understand 
more of God's will than the devil tells them. The command 
which the chiefs have over their people extends no further 
than that the Indians build the houses for the chiefs, till 
their fields, give them as many of their women as they want, 
and wash gold out of the rivers for them, with which they 
trade with their neighbours. The chiefs select their cap- 
tains in the wars, and accompany them in battle. In all 
things these Indians show little constancy. They are 
ashamed of nothing, nor do they know what virtue is, 
while in malice they are very cunning one against the other. 

Beyond this province, to the eastward, are the mountains 
which are called Andes, broken up into rugged peaks. On 
the other side the Indians say there is a beautiful valley 
through which a river flows, and where (according to the 
stories of these natives of Arma) there are great riches and 
many Indians. In all these parts the women bring forth 
without the assistance of midwives, and after bringing forth 
they go to wash in a river, doing the same to their offspring, 
nor do they suffer any evil consequence from so doing ; and 
fifty of these women suffer less pain in bringing forth than 
one of our nation. 


Of tlie province of Paucura, and of the mannei-s and customs of the 

Beyond the great province of Arma there is another, 
called Paucura, which contained five or six thousand 
Indians when we first entered it with the Captain Jorge 
Robledo. The language of the Indians in this province 
differs from tluit of Arma. The customs of the people are 


the same^ except that these are a better disposed race, and 
that the women wear a small mantle to cover a certain part 
of their bodies, and the men do the same. This province is 
very fertile for the growth of maize and other products. 
They are not so rich in gold as those in their rear, nor are 
their houses so large, nor is the country so rough. A river 
flows through the province, but it has few tributary streams. 
Close to the house of the principal chief, whose name was 
Pimana, there was a wooden idol, the size of a tall man. 
Its face was turned towards the rising sun, and its arms 
were spread out. Every Tuesday the Indians sacrificed to 
the devil in this province of Paucura, and the same was 
done in that of Arma, according to what the Indians told 
us ; but I was unable to learn whether the victims were 
their own countrymen, or prisoners taken in war. Among 
the houses of the chiefs they have stout canes planted in a 
circle so as to form a cage, from which those who are put in 
cannot possibly escape. The captives taken in war are put 
into this cage and very well fed, and when they are fat, they 
are taken out on days of festivity, kiUed with great cruelty, 
and eaten. I saw several of these cages, or prisons, in the 
province of Arma. It is worthy of note, that when they 
wish to kill any of these unfortunates, with the intention of 
eating them, they make them kneel down and bow their 
heads, and then give them a blow on the back of the neck 
with such effect that they never speak again. I have seen 
what I describe, and the victim never speaks, even to ask 
for mercy ; nay, some even laugh when they are killed, 
which is a very marvellous thing, but it proceeds more from 
bestiahty than from courage. The heads of those who are 
eaten are stuck on the points of the canes. Passing this 
province, we reached a lofty plain, which is well peopled 
and covered with large houses. This district is called Pozo, 
and the people speak the same language, and have the same 
customs as those of Arma. 



Of the Indians of Pozo, and how vaUant they are, and how dreaded by 
the neighbonring tribes. 

There were three chiefs in this province when we entered 
it with the Captain Jorge Robledo. These, with their fol- 
lowers, were and are the most valiant and bold Indians in 
all these provinces. Their territory is bounded on one side 
by the great river, on another by the provinces of Carapa 
and Picara, concerning which I will speak presently, and on 
a third by Paucura, of which I have already treated. These 
Indians of Pozo are not on friendly terms with any of their 
neighbours. Their origin is derived, according to their 
own account, from certain Indians who in ancient times 
came from the province of Arma, and, seeing how fertile 
the soil of this country of Pozo was, settled there. Their 
language and customs are the same as those of Arma. The 
chiefs have very lai-ge and lofty circular houses, and ten or 
fifteen persons live in them, according to the number of the 
family. At the doors of the houses there are great palli- 
sades and other defences, made of stout canes, between 
which there are large boards covered with reeds, so that 
none of the mounted Spaniards could pass them. From 
the summit of the table land these Indians watched all the 
roads to see who was coming. The men are better disposed 
than those of Arma, and the women are large and ugly, 
although there are some who are pretty. But in truth I saw 
very few such. Within the houses of the chiefs, near the 
entrances, there was a row of idols, about fifteen or 
twenty in number, and each the size of a man. Their faces 
were made of wax, and moulded into the form and shape of 
that of the devil. They say that sometimes, when they 
called him, the devil entered into the bodies of these wooden 
idols, and answered them from within. The heads are like 


the skulls of corpses. When the chiefs die they bury them 
within the houses,, in great sejiulchres, and place by the 
bodies great vases of wine made from maize, with their 
arms and gold, and the ornaments they valued most. They 
also bury many women alive with them, according to the 
manner of those tribes whose countries we had already 
passed through. I remember that, in the province of Arma, 
the second time that Captain Jorge Robledo passed through 
it, we went, by his order — one Antonio Pimentel and myself 
— to examine a burial place in the village of a chief named 
Tayo, in which we found more than two hundred small 
pieces of gold, which in that country they call chcujualetas, 
but as a horrible smell came from the bodies, we went away 
without getting all that was there. 

If all the gold that is buried in Peru, and in these coun- 
tries, was collected, it would be impossible to count it, so 
great would be the quantity, and the Spaniards have yet 
got little compared with what remains. When I was in 
Cuzco, receiving an account of the Yncas from the principal 
natives, I heard it said by PauUu Tnca and others, that if all 
the treasure in the huacas, which are their burial places, was 
collected together, that which the Spaniards had already 
taken would look very small, and they compared it to a 
drop taken out of a great vase of water. In order to make 
the comparison more striking, they took a large measure of 
maize, and, dropping one grain out of it, they said, " The 
Christians have found that ; the rest is so concealed, that 
we ourselves do not know the place of it.^^ So vast are the 
treasures that are lost in these parts. If the Spaniards had 
not come, all the gold in the country would certainly have 
been offered to the devil, or buried with the dead, for the 
Indians neither want it, nor seek it for any other purpose. 
They do not pay any wages with it to their men of war, nor 
do they want it except as ornaments when alive, and to be 
placed by their sides when dead. Therefore, it seems to me 
that we are bound to bring them to a knowledge of our holy 


Catholic faith, without showing them that our only wish is 
to fill our pockets.^ 

These Indians and their women go naked like all the rest. 
They are very laborious, and when they sow or dig the land, 
they hold the club for hoeing in one hand, and the lance for 
fighting in the other. The chiefs are more respected by the 
Indians than in other parts. The sons inherit the chieftain- 
ship, and in their default the nephews. 

The province of Picara is distant two leagues, that of 
Paucura a league and a half, and that of Carrapa about the 
same. All these provinces had three times as many Indians, 
yet the Indians of Pozo waged cruel war upon them one 
after the other, and all feared them and desired their friend- 
ship. A large body went forth from their villages, leaving 
sufl&cient for their defence, and carried many musical in- 
struments, such as drums and flutes. Thus they marched 
against their enemies, taking cords with them to bind their 
prisoners. Arriving at the place where the enemy awaited 
them, they set up loud shouts, and closed upon them, kilhng, 
taking prisoners, and burning houses. In all these wars the 
Indians of Pozo were always the most valiant, and so their 
neighbours confess. But they are as great butchers in 
eating human food as those of Arma, for one day I saw 
them eat more than a hundred men and women whom they 
had taken in war. They marched with us, when the adelan- 
tado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar was subduing the pro- 
vinces of Picara and Paucura, which had rebelled, and at 
that time the name of the chief of this town of Pozo was 
Perequito. In the inroads which we made, these Indians of 
Pozo killed the other Indians as if they were rabbits, and 
hunted out those who were concealed near the banks of the 
river, without letting one escape. 

One Rodrigo Alonzo, I, and two other Christians, being 

1 That is, "As the Indians tliemselvos have no greed after gold, it 
behoves the SjDaniards to show them tliat avarice is not tlie only motive 
Avliieh influoiioes the rondnet of their conquerors." 


in the province of Paucura, wont in chase of certain Indians, 
and on entering a village there came out the freshest and 
prettiest Indian girl I have ever seen in all these provinces. 
When we saw her we called her, but as soon as she heard 
us, she shrieked as if she had seen the devil, and ran 
towards the Indians of Pozo, thinking it better to be killed 
and eaten by them than to fall into our hands. And so it 
was that one of those Indians, who were our allies, before 
we could prevent him, gave her a cruel blow on her head, 
while another came up and beheaded her with a stone knife. 
The girl, when they approached her, knelt down and awaited 
her doom, which they gave her. They then drank her 
blood, and ate her heart and entrails raw, carrying off the 
head and limbs to eat on the following night. 

I saw two other Indians, who killed those of Paucura, 
and the victims laughed pleasantly, just as if they had not 
been the men who were to die. In fine, all the Indians of these 
parts have the custom of eating human flesh. The Indians 
of Pozo are very rich in gold, and near their village there 
are mines on the banks of the great river which passes near. 

In this place the adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar 
and his captain and lieutenant-general Francisco Hernandez 
Giron^ captured the marshal Don Jorge Eobledo, and cut 
off his head, besides putting others to death. And that 
they might not have to carry the bodies of the marshal and 
the others to Arma, the Indians ate them. Nevertheless 
they burnt a house over the remains of the bodies.- 

^ Francisco Hernandez Giron was afterwards famous as the leader of 
the final rebeUion in Peru. The anger of the Spanish soldiers at a 
law proliibiting the use of Indians as beasts of biu-den enabled him to 
assemble a number of discontented spii-its at Cuzco in November 1553. 
He routed the royal army at Chuqiiinga, but was finally defeated at 
Pucara, and publicly beheaded in the great square of Lima. His head was 
hung up in an iron cage, besides those of Gonzalo Pizarro and Carbajal. 

- ^Mien VadiUo's expedition came to an end, our yoimg author trans- 
ferred his ser^dces to Don Jorge Robledo. 

Robledo was one of the followers of Sebastian de Belalcazar, the dis- 



Of the province of Picara, and of the chiefs of it. 

Leaving Pozo^ and travelling to the eastward^ tlie great and 
very populous province of Picara is reached. The names of 
the principal chiefs of this province, when we discovered 
it, were Picara, Chusquruqua, Sanguitama, Chambiriqua, 
Ancora, Aupirimi, and others. Their language and customs 
resemble those of Paucura. This province extends to cer- 
tain mountains which give rise to rivers of very limpid 
and sweet water. The rivers are said to be rich in gold. 
The country is broken up into rugged mountains, like that 
which we had already passed ; but it is so populous that all 
the hills and valleys are under cultivation, in so much 
that the sight of so many crops causes pleasure and content- 
ment. In aU parts there are plantations of fruit trees. The 
people have few houses, because they have been burnt in 
their wars. The province contained more than ten or twelve 
thousand Indians capable of bearing arms when we first 
entered it ; and they go naked, for neither they nor their 
women wear more than a small cloth between the legs ; and 

coverer of Quito and Popayan, and was detached by liiin for the conquest 
of the Cauca valley. After Robledo had founded the city of Antioquia 
in 1541, he determined to go to Spain by way of Carthagena, and soUcit 
the formation of a separate government for liimself , to be carved out of 
the grant fonnerly made to Belalcazar. On arriving at San Sebastian 
de Uraba, he was arrested by Don Pedro de Heredia, who had retm-ned 
from Spain with renewed titles and privileges, accused of an attempt to 
upset his government, and sent to Spain for trial. In 1546 Robledo 
returned from Spain with the title of marshal, and, landing at San 
Sebastian, marched once more up the valley of the Cauca. Belalcazar 
demanded that he should retire from the territory Avhicli he had invaded, 
and, by forced marches, surprised him on the 1st of October 1546, and 
took him prisoner. The unfortunate Robledo was reviled by his captor 
as a deserter, traitor, and usurper, and finally hung, although he en- 
treated to be beheaded as became a knight. 


in all other matters, whether of eating, drinking, or marry- 
ing, they have the same customs as those whom we had 
already seen. 

Thus, when the chiefs die, their bodies are placed in largo 
and deep tombs, accompanied by many live women, and 
adorned by all they possessed of most value when living, 
according to the general custom of the other Indians of these 
parts. At the entrances of the houses of the caciques there 
are small platforms surrounded by stout canes, on the tops 
of which are stuck the heads of their enemies ; and this is a 
horrid thing to see, as there are many of them, looking 
fierce with long hair, and their faces painted in such sort as 
to appear like those of devils. In the lower part of the 
canes there are holes through which the wind can pass, and 
when it blows, there is a noise which sounds like the music 
of devils. Nor is human flesh distasteful to these Indians, 
any more than to those of Pozo, for when we first entered 
their country with the captain Don Jorge Robledo, more 
than four thousand of these natives of Picara marched with 
us, and killed and ate as many as three hundred hostile 
Indians. They aflSrm that, on the other side of the moun- 
tains to the eastward of this province, which are the Cordil- 
leras of the Andes, there is a great, rich, and populous valley 
called Arbi. I do not know whether it has been discovered, nor 
did I hear more than this rumour concerning it. The Indians 
of Picara have great stakes, as sharp as if they were of iron, 
made of a black palm wood, which they fix in holes along the 
roads, and subtilely cover with straw and grass. When they 
are at war with the Spaniards they fix so many of these 
stakes that it is very troublesome to get through the coun- 
try, and many soldiers have been staked in the legs and 
feet. Some of these Indians have bows and arrows, but 
they are not dexterous in their use, and do little harm with 
them. They have shngs with which they throw stones with 



great force. The men are of middle height, the women the 
same, and some of them good looking. Leaving this pro- 
vince, in the direction of the city of Cartage, we next came 
to the province of Carrapa, which is not very distant, and is 
rich and populous. 


Of the province of Carrapa, and of what tliere is to be said concern- 
ing it. 

The province of Carrapa is twelve leagues from the city of 
Cartage, situated in a very rugged mountainous couniry, 
and the Cordillera of the Andes rises above it. The houses 
of the natives are small and very low, made of canes, and 
thatched with other small and delicate canes, of which there 
are many in these parts. Some of the houses of the chiefs 
are large, but others not. When the Christian Spaniards 
first entered the country there were five of these chiefs. 
The principal amongst them was called Yrrua, who, in former 
years, had entered the country by force, and ruled over all 
men like a powerful tyrant. Among the mountains there 
are some little valleys and open spaces well watered by 
numerous rivers and springs, but the water is not so whole- 
some as that of the rivers we had passed. The men are 
very large, with long visages, and the women are robust. 
These people are very rich in gold, for they had very large 
pieces, and beautiful vases, out of which they drank their 
wine made of maize. Those who drink this liquor soon 
lose their senses, yet the Indians are so vicious that they 
will sometimes di-ink an arroba at one sitting, not at one 
draught, but by taking many pulls. Their bellies being full 


of this beverage, it provokes vomiting, and they throw up 
as much as they Hke, Many of them hold the cup out of 
which to drink in one hand, and^ . . . They are not great 
eaters, but all the Indians we met with are generally ad- 
dicted to excessive drinking. 

When a chief dies without children, his principal wife 
succeeds, and when she dies the nephew of the deceased 
chief inherits ; if he is the son of a sister."- They have no 
temples nor houses of worship ; but the devil talks to some 
of them occasionally, as he does with Indians of other 

They bury their dead within their houses, in great vaults, 
accompanied by living women, food, and many valuables 

' Mnchos tienen con la una mano la vasija con que estan behiendo^ y 
con la otra el miembro con que orinan. 

^ The tendency to the partial adoption of the rule of female succession 
amongst these Indians is worthy of note. Wlien a claief had no son, the 
son of his sister succeeded, to the exclusion of brothers' sons. It appears 
that this was the general practice amongst the Indians of the valley of 
the Cauca. The Indians of Anzerma (see p. 64), of Anna (see p. 73), 
and of Carrapa, all adopted it ; and Yelasco says that the same custom 
prevailed in the family of the Scyris or ancient kings of Quito. (Hist, 
de Quito., i, p. 8.) It is well knowai that with the Nairs of Malabar the 
rule of female succession is absolute, and that the son of a sister succeeds 
to the exclusion of the possessor's son. The heirs apparent in these South 
American tribes seem to have had sufficient influence to ensure their own 
succession, although the sister's son came next, even to the exclusion, as 
Velasco teEs us, of daughters. Friar Jordanus gives us the reason for 
tliis rule amongst the people of INIalabar : — " AMiatever man may be the 
father of their sister they are certain that the offspring is from the womb 
of their sister, and is consequently thus truly of their blood." Colonel 
Yule, in a note to his edition of Friar Jordanus (Hakluyt Society's 
volume for 1863, p. 32), has given a list of all the people amongst whom 
this custom of female succession has prevailed. They are the Xairs of 
Malabar, the people of Canara, the aborigines of Hispaniola, the tribes of 
Xew Granada, the royal family of Quito, the negro tribes of the Niger, 
certain sections of the ^Malays of Sumatra, the royal family of Tipura, 
the Kasias of the Sylhet mountains, the people of a district in Ceylon 
adjoining Bintenne, in Madagascar, the Fiji Islanders, and the Hurons 
and Natchez Indians of North America. 


possessed by the deceased, as is the custom with their 

When any of these Indians feel ill, they make great sacri- 
fices for their health in the manner which they have learnt 
from their ancestors, all in honour of the accursed devil. 
He, God permitting it, lets them know that all things are 
in his hands, and that he is superior to all others. Not but 
that they are aware of a God, sole creator of the whole 
world, for the Almighty does not permit the devil to assume 
this dignity, from which he is so widely separated. Yet 
they believe many evil things, although I learned from them- 
selves that they are sometimes at issue with the devil, when 
they hate him, and see through his lies and falseness. For 
their sins, however, they are so subject to his will that they 
are unable to escape from the prisons of deceitfulness. They 
are blind, like other gentile people of more knowledge and 
understanding, until the light of the sacred Evangelist's 
words enters into their hearts. The Christians who settle 
in these Indies should never fail to instruct the natives in 
true doctrine, otherwise I know not how they will fare when 
they and the Indians appear before the Divine throne, on 
the day of judgment. 

The principal chiefs marry their nieces, and sometimes 
their sisters, and they have many wives. They eat the 
Indians whom they capture, like all the other tribes. When 
they go to war, they wear very rich pieces of gold, with 
great crowns, and large bracelets of gold on their wrists. 
Great and valuable banners are carried before them. I saAv 
one which was given as a present to the captain Don Jorge 
Robledo, the first time we entered this province, which 
weighed upwards of three thousand pesos, and a golden vase 
worth two hundred and ninety pesos, besides two other 
loads of this metal, consisting of ornaments of many shapes. 
The banner was a long narrow cloth fastened to a wand, 
and covered with small pieces of gold to imitate stars. In 


tins province there are also many fruit trees^ and some 
deer, (juadiujuinajes, and other game, besides many edible 

Leaving this province, we came to that of Quinbaya, in 
which the city of Cartago is situated. Cartago is twenty- 
two leagues from the town of Arma. Between the province 
of Carrapa and that of Quinbaya, there is a very large and 
desert valley, of which the tyrant I have just spoken of was 
lord ; he whose name was Urrua, and who ruled in Carrapa. 
The war between him and the natives of Quinbaya was very 
fierce ; and he also forced many in Carrapa to leave their 
country when he took possession of it. It is rumoured 
that there are great sepulchres in this valley, of chiefs who 
are buried there. 


Of the province of Quinbaya, and of the customs of the chiefs. Also 
concerning- the foundation of the city of Cartago, and who was 
its founder. 

The province of Quinbaya is fifteen leagues long by ten 
broad, from the Rio Crande to the snowy mountains of the 
Andes. It is populous throughout its whole extent, and 
the country is not so rugged as that through which we had 
passed. It contains extensive and dense cane brakes, which 
cannot be penetrated without great labour, and this pro- 
vince, with its rivers, is full of these cane brakes. In no 
part of the Indies have I seen or heard of any place where 
there are so many canes as in this province, but it pleased 
God, our Lord, that this country should have a superabund- 
ance of canes, that the people might not have much trouble 
in making their houses. The snowy mountains, which are 


a part of the great cliain of the Andes, are seven leagues 
from the villages of this province. In the highest parts of 
them there is a volcano which, on a clear day, may be seen 
to send forth great quantities of smoke, and many rivers 
rise in these mountains, which irrigate the land. The chief 
rivers are the Tacurumbi, the Cegue, which passes close to 
the city, and there are many others which cannot be counted 
for number. When the freshes come down in the winter 
season, the Indians have bridges of canes fastened together 
with reeds, and strongly secured to trees on either side. 
All the rivers are veiy full of gold. When I was there in the 
year 1547 they got more than fifteen thousand j^esos worth in 
three months, and the largest gang of labourers consists 
of three or four Negroes and some Indians. Valleys are 
formed along the courses of the rivers, and though the 
banks are densely lined with canes, there are many fruit 
trees of the country, and large plantations of Pixiuare 

In these rivers there are fountains of healing water, and 
it is a marvellous thing to see their manner of rising in the 
midst of the rivers, for which thanks be to God our Lord. 
Further on I will devote a chapter to these fountains, for it 
is a matter well worthy of note. The men of this province 
are well disposed, and of good countenances ; the women 
the same, and very amorous. Their houses are small, and 
roofed with the leaves of canes. There are now many fruit 
trees and other plants which the Spaniards cultivate, both 
from Spain, and of the country. The chiefs are very liberal ; 
they have many wives, and are all friendly, and in alliance 
with each other. They do not eat human flesh, except on 
veiy great occasions, and the chiefs alone were very rich in 
gold. Of all the things that were to be seen, the most 
notable were their jewels of gold and great vases out of which 
they drink their wine. I saw one, which a cacique named 
Tacuruml)! gave to the captain Don Jorge Robledo, which 


would contain two azumhres,^ of water. The same cacique 
gave another to Miguel Muiioz which was still larger and 
more valuable. The arms of these Indians are lances and 
darts, and certain estolicas,^ which they throw with great 
force, a mischievous weapon. They are intelligent and 
observant, and some of them are great magicians. They 
assemble to make feasts for their pleasure, and when they 
have drunk, a squadron of women is placed on one side, and 
another on the other ; the men are placed in the same way, 
and they pass backwards and foi-wards, chanting the word 
Batatabafi, Batatahati, which means ^^we play.^^ Thus, 
with darts and wands, the game begins, which ends in the 
wounding of many, and the death of some. They twist 
their hair into great wheels, and thus they wear it when 
they go to war. They have been a fierce and encroaching 
people, until justice was executed upon the old chiefs. 
"When they assembled for their feasts and games in an open 
space, all the Indians gathered together, and two of them 
made a noise with drums. One then began to dance, and 
all the rest followed, each with his cup of wine in his hand, 
for they drank, danced, and sang all at the same time. 
Their songs consisted of a recitation of their deeds, and 
of the deeds of their ancestors. They have no creed, 
and they converse with the devil, like all the rest of the 

Wlien they are ill they bathe many times, at which times 
they themselves relate that they see awful visions. And, in 
treating of this subject, I Avill here relate what happened 
in this pro\'ince of Quinbaya in the year 1547. At the time 
when the viceroy, Blasco Nunez Yela, was embarrassed by 

^ About half a gallon. 

- The estolica, used by South American Indians, consists of flattened 
pieces of Avood about a yard long, in the upper end of -wliich a bone is 
fixed. A long dart is fastened on the bone, and hiu-led wath tremendous 
force and sure aim. 


the movements of Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers^ a great 
pestilence spread over the whole kingdom of Peru, which 
began on the other side of Cuzco, and pervaded the whole 
country. People without number died. The illness con- 
sisted of a headache accompanied by raging fever, and 
presently the pain passed from the head to the left ear, 
when it became so great that the patient did not last more 
than two or three days. The pestilence reached this pro- 
vince. Now there is a river, about half a league from the 
city of Cartago, called Consota, and near it there is a small 
lake where they make salt from the water of a spring. Many 
Indian women were one day assembled there, making salt 
for the households of their lords, when they saw a tall man 
with his belly open and bowels hanging out, holding two 
boys by the hand. When he came to the women, he said, 
" I promise you that I have to kill all the women of the 
Christians, and all those of your people, and it shall be done 
presently." As it was day time the Indian women showed 
no fear, but related the occurrence in a laughing way when 
they went to their homes. In another village of the neigh- 
bourhood, called Giraldo Gilestopina, they saw the same 
figure on horseback, galloping over all the hills and moun- 
tains like the wind. In a few days the pestilence and 
ear-ache came on in such a manner, that most of the people 
died, the Spaniards losing their Indians bound to service, 
so that few or none were left ; in addition to which such 
terror prevailed that the very Spaniards seemed to be 
fearful and afraid. Many women and boys affirmed that 
they saw the dead with their own eyes walking again. 
These people well understand that there is something in 
man besides the mortal body, though they do not hold that 
it is a soul, but rather some kind of transfiguration. They 
also think that all bodies will rise again ; but the devil has 
given them to understand that it will be in a place where 
there will be great case and pleasure, and this is the reason 


that they place great quantities of wine and maize, fish, and 
other things in their sepulchres, together with the arms of 
the deceased, as if these could free him from the pains of 
hell. The custom among them is that the son succeeds the 
father, and, ftiiling sons, the nephew being the son of a 
sister. In ancient times these Indians were not natives 
of Quinbaya, but they invaded the coimtry many times, 
killing the inhabitants, who could not have been few, judg- 
ing from the remains of their works, for all the dense cane 
brakes seem once to have been peopled and tilled, as well as 
the mountainous parts, where there are trees as big round as 
two bullocks. From these facts I conjecture that a very long 
period of time has elapsed since these Indians first peopled 
the Indies.^ The climate of the province is very salubrious, 
so that the Spaniards, who have settled in it, neither suffer 
from heat nor from cold. 

1 Truly ! so long ago that it is the merest waste of time to make con- 
jectures or siu-mises as to whence they came. The testimony given by 
Cieza de Leon that, even in his time, there was evidence of the country 
having once been far more densely peopled, is very interesting. 



In which the subject of the preceding chapter is continued ; respecting 
what relates to the city of Cartago, and its foundation ; and respect- 
ing the animal called chucha. 

These cane brakes, of wliicli I liave already spoken, are so 
close and thick, that if a man is not well acquainted with the 
country, he would lose himself, and be unable to get out of 
them. Amongst the canes there are many tall ceyhas, with 
many wide-spreading branches, and other trees of different 
sorts which, as I do not know their names, I am unable to 
give them here. In the depths of these cane brakes there 
are great caves or cavities where bees make their hives, and 
make honeycombs which are as good as those of Spain. 
There are some bees which are little bigger than mosquitos, 
and at the entrance of their hives, after they have been well 
closed, they insert a tube apparently of wax, and half a 
finger long, by which they enter to do their work, their 
little wings laden with what they have collected from the 
flowers. The honey of this kind of bees is a little sour, and 
they do not get more than a quartillo of honey from each 
hive. There is another species of bees, which are black 
and rather larger, those just mentioned being white. The 
opening which the black bees make to get into the tree, is 
of wax wrapped round with a mixture that becomes harder 
than stone. Their honey is, without comparison, better 
than that of the white bees, and each hive contains more 
than three azumhres} There are other bees larger than 
those of Spain, but none of them sting. When, however, 
they take the hive, the bees surround the man who is 
cutting the tree down, and stick to his hair and beard. Of 
the large hives of the last-named bees, there are some 
weighing half an arroha," and their honey is much the best 

1 Half a gallon. " One aiToba=25 11)S. 


of all. I got some of these, and I saw more taken by Pedro 
do Velasco, a settler at Cartago. 

Besides the above products, there is a fruit in this pro- 
vince called Gaymito,'^ as large as a nectarine. It is black 
inside, and has some very small pips, and a milk which 
sticks so closely to the beard and hands that it takes some 
time to get it off. There is another fruit like very savoury 
cherries, besides aguacates," guavas,^ and guayavas,^ and 
some as sour as lemons, with a good smell and flavour. 

The cane brakes, being very dense, become the haunts of 
many animals. There are great lions, and an animal like a 
small fox, with a long tail and short feet of a grey colour, 
and the head of a fox. I once saw one of these creatures 
which had seven young ones near it. Directly it was 
frightened, or heard a noise, it opened a bag which nature 
has placed on its belly, put its young inside, and fled so 
swiftly that I was astonished at its agihty, being so small, 
and running so rapidly with such a weight. They call this 
creature chiicha.^ There are also small and very poisonous 
serpents, many deer, and some rabbits, besides guada- 
quinajes,^ which are a Httle larger than hares, and whose 
flesh is very good and savoury. There are many other 
things to relate, but I desist because they would appear 

The city of Cartago is situated on a smooth plain, be- 

^ Chrysophylhtm Caimito, Linn., or star apple. 

^ Alligator pear. Persea gratissima R. P. 

3 Inga spectabilis. * Psidium Guayavn^ Raddi. 

^ Velasco says that the chucha^ tututu^ or guanchaca, is a sort of 
domestic fox, rather larger than a cat, mth a very long tail, generally 
without hair ; it is very cunning, is seldom seen in the daytime, and 
carries its young in a bag which opens and shuts on its beUy, within 
which are the two nipples of its teats. Hist, de Quito., i, p. 92. Pro- 
bably this is the small opossum of the genus Didelphys. 

6 Yelasco describes the guadaqninaje as about the size of a hare, with 
no tail, and very good for food. Found in the warm parts of the pro- 
vince of Popayan. i, p. 89. 


tween two small streams, seven leagues from the great river 
of Santa Martha, and near another small stream, the water 
of which is drunk by the Spaniards. 

This river is always crossed by a bridge of those canes 
which I have already mentioned. The city has very dif- 
ficult approaches on both sides, and bad roads, for in the 
winter time the mud is deep. It rains all the year round, 
and the hghtning is great, thunderbolts sometimes falhng. 
This city is so well guarded, that the inhabitants cannot 
easily be robbed. 

The founder of the city was the same captain Don Jorge 
Eobledo who peopled the others which we had passed, in 
the name of the majesty of the Emperor Don Carlos, our 
lord, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor 
of all these provinces, in the year of our Lord 1540. It is 
called Cartago, because all the settlers and conquerors who 
accompanied Robledo had set out from Carthagena, and 
this is the reason that this name was adopted. 

Now that I have arrived at this city of Cartago, I will go 
on to give an account of the great and spacious valley where 
the city of Call is seated, and that of Popayan, towards 
which we journeyed through the cane brakes until we 
reached a plain traversed by a great river called La Vieja. 
This river is crossed with much difficulty in the winter 
time ; it is four leagues from the city. After crossing the 
river in balsas and canoes, the two roads unite, one coming 
from Cartago, and the other from Anzerma. From Anzerma 
to Cali the distance is fifty leagues, and from Cartago to Cali 
a little more than forty-five leagues. 



^\^lich touches upon the provinces in this great and beautiful valley, up 
to the city of C'ali. 

From the city of Popayan this valley begins to spread out 
like a level plain between the chains of mountains^ and is 
twelve leagues broad, more or less. In some parts it is 
narrower, and in others broader, and the river which flows 
through it becomes so narrow that neither boat, nor balsa, 
nor anything else can pass, by reason of the fury of the 
stream, and of the stones which come down in it. Boats are 
upset and go to the bottom, and thus many Spaniards and 
Indians have been drowned and much merchandise lost, for 
the rapidity of the stream is such that they have no time to 
get on land. 

All this valley, from the city of Cali to these rapids, was 
formerly very populous, and covered with very large and 
beautiful villages, the houses being close together and of 
great size. These villages of Indians have wasted away 
and been destroyed by time and war; for, when the 
Captain Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, who was the first 
captain to discover and conquer this valley, made his 
entry, the Indians were bent on war, and fought with the 
Spaniards many times to defend their land, and escape from 
slavery. Owing to these wars, and to the famine which 
arose on account of the seeds not having been sown, nearly 
all the Indians died. There was another reason which led to 
their rapid extermination. The Captain Belalcazar founded, 
in the midst of the Indian villages in this plain, the city of 
Cali, which he afterwards rebuilt on its present site. The 
natives were so determined not to hold any friendship with 
the Spaniards (beheving their yoke to be heavy) that they 
would neither sow nor cultivate the land ; and from this 
cause there was such scarcity that the greater part of the 


inhabitants died. When the Spaniards abandoned the first 
site^ the hill tribes came down in great numbers, and, fall- 
ing upon the unfortunates who were sick and dying of 
hunger, soon killed and ate all those who survived. These 
are the reasons why the people of this valley are so reduced 
that scarcely any are left. On one side of the river, 
towards the east, is the Cordillera of the Andes, and on the 
other side there is a larger and more beautiful valley called 
Neyva, through which flows the other branch of the great 
river of Santa Martha.^ 

In the skirts of the mountains there are many villages of 
Indians of different nations and customs, who are very bar- 
barous, and who aU eat human flesh, which they hold to be 
very deHcious. On the highest parts of the mountains there 
are some small valleys which form the province of Buga. 
The natives of these valleys are brave warriors ; and they 
watched the Spaniards who came to their country, and killed 
Cristoval de Ayala, without any fear. 

When he, of whom I have spoken, was killed, his goods 
were sold in the market at excessive prices. A sow was 
sold for 1600 pesos, together with a small pig. Sucking 
pigs went for 500 pesos, and a Peruvian sheep (llama) for 
280 pesos. I saw these sums paid to one Andres Gomez, 
now a citizen of Cartago, by Pedro Romero of Anzerma. 
The IGOO pesos for the sow and the pig were paid by the 
Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar, out of the goods 
of the Marshal Don Jorge Robledo. I even saw that 
very sow eaten at a banquet which was given on the 
day we arrived at the city of Cali with Vadillo. Juan 
Pacheco, a conqueror who is now in Spain, bought a pig 
for 220 p)esos, and knives were sold for 15 pesos. I heard 
Jeronimo Luis Texelo say that, when he went on the expe- 
dition with the Captain Miguel Muiioz, which is known as 
that of La Vieja, he bought a shoemaker^s knife for 30 
' The IVIasrlalona. 


jyesos, and shoes went for 8 2'>csos of gold. A sheet of paper 
was sold in Cali for 30 pesos. I might relate other facts of 
this kind to the glory of the Spaniards, as showing how 
cheap they held money, for if they required anything they 
thought nothing of it. They bought pigs in the sow's belly, 
before they were born, for 100 jyesos and more. 

I would now request the judicious reader to reflect on and 
wonder at what countries were discovered and settled be- 
tween the year 1526 and the present year 1547 : and, think- 
ing upon this, he will see how great are the deserts of the 
discoverers and conquerors who have laboured so greatly in 
this work ; and what reason his Majesty has to give thanks 
to those who passed through those labours, and served 
loyally without butchering the Indians. Those, however, 
who have been butchers are deserving of punishment, in my 
opinion. When this province was discovered they bought a 
horse for 3000 or 4000 pesos, and even now there are those 
who have not yet paid their old debts, and who, covered 
with wounds received in the service, are shut up in prison 
until they can pay the debts demanded by their creditors. 

On the other side of the Cordillera is the other valley 
which I have already mentioned, where the town of Neyva 
was founded. Towards the west there are still more villages 
and Indians in the mountains, but I have already given the 
reason why those in the plains nearly all died. The villages 
of the mountains extend to the shores of the South Sea, and 
stretch away far to the south. Their houses, like those I 
described in Tatabe, are built on trees like granaries ; they 
are large, and contain many inhabitants. The land of these 
Indians is very fertile and prohfic, and well supplied with 
swine and tapirs, and other game, such as turkeys, parrots, 
pheasants, and abundance of fish. The rivers are not poor 
in gold, indeed we can affirm that they are very rich in that 
metal. Near these villages flows the great river of Darien,^ 
1 The Atrato. 


very famous on account of the city whicli was founded near 
it. All these Indians also eat human flesh. Some of them 
use bows and arrows, and others staves, clubs, darts, and 
lonsr lances. Towards the north of Cali there is another 
province, bordering on that of Anzerma, the natives of 
which are called Chancos. They are so big that they look 
like small giants, with broad shoulders, robust frames, and 
great strength. Their faces are large and heads narrow ; 
for in this province, in that of Quinbaya, and in other parts 
of the Indies, when a baby is born, they force the head into 
the shape they may choose ; thus some grow up without an 
occiput, others with a raised forehead, and others with a 
very long head. This is done when the child is just born, 
by means of certain small boards fastened with ligatures. 
The women are treated in the same way. The Chancos, both 
men and women, go naked and barefooted, with only a cloth 
between the legs, made, not of cotton, but of bark, taken 
from a tree and made very fine and soft, about a yard long, 
and two palmos broad. They fight with great lances and 
darts; and occasionally they leave their province to wage 
war with their neighbours of Anzerma. When the Marshal 
Eobledo entered Cartago for the last time (which he ought 
not to have done), that he might be received as the lieuten- 
ant of the Judge Miguel Diaz Armendariz, certain Spaniards 
were sent to guard the road between Anzerma and the city 
of Cali. These men encountered certain of these Chancos, 
who had come down to kill a Christian who was going to 
take some goats to Cali, and one or two of the Indians were 
killed. The Spaniards were astonished at their great size. 

In the hills and valleys which sweep down from the Cor- 
dillera to the westward, there are many Indian villages, 
extending to the vicinity of the city of Cah, and bordering 
on the district of the Barbacoas. The natives have their vil- 
lages scattered over the hills, the houses being grouped in 
tens and fifteens, sometimes more, sometimes less. They call 


these Indians Gorroncs, because, when the city of Cali was 
founded in the valley, they called the fish gorron, and these 
Indians came in laden with them, calling out, " gorron ! 
(jorron !" Not knowing- their correct name, the Spaniards 
named them after the fish they carried, Gorrones : just in 
the same way as they named the Indians of Anzerma after 
the salt, which in their language is anzer. The houses of 
these Indians are large and round, and roofed with straw. 
They have few fruit trees, but plenty of gold of four or five 
quilates, though little of the finer sort. Some rivers of fresh 
water flow near their villages. Near the doors of their 
houses they keep, from motives of pride, many feet of the 
Indians whom they have killed, and many hands. They 
preserve the insides, that they may lose nothing, and hang 
them up in rows like sausages in great quantities, and the 
heads and entire quarters are also kept. When we came to 
these villages with the Licentiate Juan de Vadillo, a negro 
belonging to Juan de Cespedes, seeing these bowels, and 
thinking they were really sausages, would have eaten them 
if they had not been hard and dry from time and smoke. 
Outside the houses they have many heads placed in rows, 
entire legs, arms, and other parts of bodies, in such abund- 
ance as to be hardly credible. If I had not myself seen 
what I write, and did not know that there are now many 
people in Spain who have also seen it, I would not venture 
to state that these men are such butchers of other men for 
the sole purpose of eating them ; but we know for certain 
that these Gorrones are great butchers in the matter of 
eating human flesh. They have no idols, nor did I see any 
house of worship, but it is publicly known that some of them 
converse with the devil. Neither priests nor friars have 
gone amongst them, as they have in Peru and other parts 
of the Indies, for fear of being killed. 

These Indians are separated from the valley of the great 
river by a distance of two or three leagues, but they go 


down to fish in the great river and in the lagoons, return- 
ing with great store of fish. They are of middling stature, 
and fit for httle work. I only saw the men wearing cloths, 
but the women are dressed in large cotton mantles. Their 
dead are wrapped in many of these mantles, which are 
about three yards long and two broad, and fastened by 
cords. Between the mantles they put golden ornaments, 
and then bury the bodies in deep tombs. This province is 
within the jurisdiction of the city of Cali. In the ravine of 
the river there is a village, which is not very large, owing 
to the wars which have destroyed the population. Near it 
there is a great lake formed by the overflow of the river, 
but which is drained when the river is low. In this lake 
the Indians kiU a vast quantity of very savouiy fish, which 
they give to travellers, and with which they trade in the cities 
of Cartage and Cali, and in other parts. Besides the 
quantity they thus dispose of, or eat themselves, they have 
great deposits for sale to the Indians of the mountains, and 
great jars of grease taken from the fish. When we were 
engaged in exploring with the hcentiate Juan de Vadillo, 
we arrived at this village very short of food, and found some 
fish. Afterwards, when we came to foimd the town of 
Anzerma with captain Robledo, we found enough fish here 
to load two ships. 

This province of the Gorrones is very fertile, and yields 
plenty of maize and other things. There are many deer, 
guadaquinajes, other wild beasts, and birds in the woods. 
But the great valley of Cah, once so fertile, is now a desert 
of grassy land, yielding no profit to any but the deer and 
other animals who graze in it, for the Christians are not in 
sufficient numbers to occupy such extensive tracts. 




Of tlio situation of the city of Call, of the Indians iu its vicinity, and 
concerning the founder. 

To reach tlie city of CaM it is necessary to cross a small river 
called the Rio Frio, which is full of weeds and flags. This 
river is very cold, because it comes down from the moun- 
tains, and, flowing through a part of the valley, loses itself 
in the great river. Beyond this river the road leads over 
extensive plains, where there are many small and very fleet 
deer. The Spaniards have their grazing farms in the plains, 
where their servants live, and look after the estates. The 
Indians come from their villages in the mountains to sow 
and reap the maize in the plains. Near the farms many 
very pretty water-courses flow through and irrigate the 
fields, besides some small rivers of good water. Many 
orange, lime, lemon, pomegranate and banana trees have 
been planted along these rivers and water-courses, besides 
excellent sugar-canes. There are also pine-apples, guayavas,^ 
(juavas,^ guanavanas,^ ^paltas,'^ and other fruits in great 
abundance. There are Spanish melons and legumes, but 
wheat has not yet been introduced, though I am told they 
have it in the valley of Lile, which is five leagues from the 
city; neither have they planted vines as yet, though the 
land is as weU adapted for them as that of Spain. 

The city of CaH is situated a league from the great river, 
near a small river of particularly good water, which rises in 
the overhanging mountains. Its banks are bordered with 
pleasant gardens, where there are plenty of the fruits and 
vegetables just mentioned. The city is built on a level 
platform ; and, if it was not for the heat, it would be one of 

1 Psidium Guai/ava T\.add[. - Inga sjiectahilis 'WiWd. 

^ Anona muricata Linn. 

* Persea gratissima R. P. In other places he calls it Aguacate. Palta 
is the Quichiia word. 



the best sites I have seen in any part of the Indies^ for it 
wants nothing to make it excellent. The Indians and 
caciques who serve the Spaniards holding encomiendas,^ live 
in the mountains. When I left the place there were twenty- 
three citizens who had Indians^ and there are never wanting 
Spaniards who are travelling from one part to the other, 
looking after their affairs. This city of Cali was founded 
by captain Miguel Mmloz in the name of his Majesty, the 
Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being governor of Peru, 
in the year 1537; though, as I said before, it was first 
founded by the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar in the 
country of the Gorrones. And some say that the munici- 
pahty of the city obliged Miguel Munoz to remove the 
settlement to its present site, whence it appears that the 
honour of founding the city is in dispute between Belalcazar 
and the municipality, for the conquerors, who composed 
the citizens, declare that it was not known whether Miguel 
Munoz acted of his own accord or not. 


Of the villages and chiefs of Indians who are within the jurisdiction of 
this city of Cali. 

On the western side of this city, towards the mountains, 
there are many villages of Indians, who are very docile, a 
simple people void of mahce. Amongst these villages there 
is a small valley closed in by mountains. The valley is 
level, and is always sown with maize and yucas, besides 
having plantations of fruit trees, and of the palms called 
pixiuares. The houses in this valley are very large, round, 
lofty, and supported on straight poles. There were six 
chiefs when I entered this valley, who were held in small 
^ See note at page 72. 


estimation by the Indians, many of whom are always in 
the houses of Spaniards. Through the centre of this valley, 
which is called Lile, a river flows, and is fed by many 
streams coming from the mountains. The banks of this 
river are well covered with fruit trees, amongst which 
there is one which is very delicious and fragrant called 

Near this valley there was a village, the chief of which 
was the most powerful and respected of all the chiefs of the 
neighbourhood. His name was Petecuy. In the centre of 
his village there was a great and lofty round wooden house, 
with a door in the centre. The light was admitted by four 
windows in the upper part, and the roof was of straw. As 
one entered through the door, there was a long board 
stretching from one end of the house to the other, on which 
many human bodies were placed in rows, being those of 
men who had been defeated and taken in war. They were 
all cut open, and this is done with stone knives, after which 
they eat the flesh, stuff the skins with ashes, and place 
them on the board in such sort as to appear like living men. 
In the hands of some they placed lances, and in those of 
others darts or clubs. Besides these bodies, there is a 
great abundance of arms and legs collected together in the 
great house, insomuch that it was fearful to see them, thus 
contemplating so sad a spectacle, and reflecting that all 
had been kiUed and eaten by their neighbours as if they had 
been beasts of the field. But these Indians gloried in the 
sight, saying that their fathers and ancestors taught them 
to act thus. Not content with natural food, they turned 
their bellies into the tombs of their neighbours. But now 
they do not eat human flesh as they used to do ; the Spirit 
of heaven has shone upon them ; they have come to a 
knowledge of their blindness, and many of them have 
become Christians. There is hope that more will turn to 
^ The fruit of the passion flower. 


our holy faith day by day, with the help and mediation 
of God our Eedeemer and Lord. 

An Indian, native of a village called Veache (in this 
province), formerly in the reiDartimiento of the captain Don 
Jorge Robledo, when I asked him why they had such a 
number of dead bodies in this house, replied that it was to 
show the grandeur of the lord of the valley, and that not 
only was it the custom to preserve the bodies, but also to 
collect the arms of enemies, and hang them to the beams 
of the house as memorials. He also said that when the 
people were asleep the devil often entered into the bodies 
which were stuffed with ashes, and assumed so fearful and 
terrible a form that some persons died of mere terror. 

The dead Indians, whose bodies this lord preserved as 
trophies, in the manner already described, were mostly 
natives of the wide valley of Cali, for, as I have stated 
before, there were villages containing thousands of Indians 
in that valley, who never ceased to wage war with those of 
the mountains, nor, during most of their time, did they ever 
think of anything else. 

These Indians have no other arms than those which are 
used by their neighbours. They generally go naked, though 
now most of them have shirts and mantles of cotton, and 
their women also wear cotton clothes. Both men and 
women have their noses pierced, and wear a sort of twisted 
nails in them of gold, about the thickness of a finger, called 
carictiris. They also wear necklaces of fine gold, rarely 
worked, and ear-rings of twisted gold. Their former dress 
consisted of a small cloth in front, and another over the 
shoulders, the women covering themselves from the waist 
downwards with a cotton mantle. When their chiefs die, 
they make large and deep tombs inside their houses, into 
which they put a good supply of food, arms, and gold, with 
the bodies. They have no religion whatever, so far as we 
could understand, nor did we see any house of worship. 


When any of them fell sick, they bathed, and for some 
illnesses they used certain herbs, the virtue whereof cures 
them. It is a public and well-known fact that those who 
are chosen by the devil converse with him. I have not 
heard that either these Indians, or those we have left 
behind, practise the abominable crime, but if, by the advice 
of the devil, any Indian commits this crime, it is thought 
little of, and they call him a woman. They marry their 
nieces, and some chiefs marry their sisters. The son of the 
principal wife inherits the chiefship and property of the 
father. Some of them are magicians, and above all they are 
very dirty. 

Beyond this village, of which Petecuy was chief, there are 
many others, the natives of which are all friends and allies. 
These villages are short distances from each other. The 
houses are large and round, with roofs of straw. Their 
customs are the same as those of the Indians I have already 
described. At first they entered into a war with the 
Spaniards, and underwent severe punishment, insomuch 
that they have never rebelled since. They have now taken 
more to Christianity than any of the other tribes ; go dressed 
in shirts, and serve those who have become their masters 
with good will. 

Beyond this province, towards the south, there is another 
called Timbas, in which there are three or four chiefs. It 
is situated amongst rugged mountains containing some 
valleys where they have their villages, and the land is well 
covered with crops, fruit trees, palms, and other things. 
Their arms are darts and lances. They have been much 
addicted to the invasion and subjection of their neighbom's, 
and they are not yet entirely tamed, being estabhshed in a 
very inaccessible country. Being warlike and valiant, they 
have killed many Spaniards, and done much harm. Their 
customs and language differ but sUghtly from the others. 
Further on there are other tribes which extend as far as the 
sea, all having the same language and customs. 



In which the matter relating to the city of Call is couchided ; and 
concerning other Indians inhabiting the mountains near the port 
which they call Buenaventura. 

Besides these provinces, tliere are many other Indian tribes 
under the jurisdiction of the city of Cah, who dwell in the 
most rugged and inaccessible mountains in the world. 
Amongst these wilds there are some valleys which are very 
fertile, and which yield all manner of fruit. There are also 
many wild animals, especially great tigers, which kill many 
Indians and Spaniards who go to, and come from the sea 
coast, every day. The houses of the Indians in these moun- 
tains are rather small, and roofed with leaves of palm trees, 
of which there are many in the forests. These houses are 
surrounded by stout and very long poles forming a wall, 
which are put up as a defence against the tigers. The 
arms, dress, and customs of these Indians are neither more 
nor less than those of the valley of Lile, and their language 
leaves me under the impression that they are the same 
people. They are strong and powerful men. They have 
always been at peace from the time that they declared their 
allegiance to his Majesty, and are very friendly to the 
Spaniards, so that, although Christians are always passing- 
through their villages, they have not killed nor harmed any 
up to the present time ; on the contraiy, as soon as they see 
them, they give them food to eat. The port of Buenaventura 
is three days' journey from the villages of these Indians, aU 
the way through thickets of palm trees, and rocky broken- 
up country, and is thirty leagues from the city of Cali. I 
shaU not give a chapter on this port, because I have nothing 
more to say of it than that it was founded by Juan Ladrillo 
under the direction of the Adelantado Don Pascual do 
Andagoya, and that afterwards it was abandoned, owing to 


the absence of this Andagoya, arising from disputes between 
him and the A.delantado Belalcazar respecting the boundaries 
of their governments. Finally, Belalcazar took Andagoya/ 
and sent him prisoner to Spain. Then the Cah'ddo of Call 
arranged that six or seven of the citizens should always reside 
in the port, in order that, when the ships arrived from New 
Spain and Nicaragua, they might see that the merchandise 
was landed, and provide houses to receive it. These resi- 
dents are paid at the cost of the merchants, and among them 
there is a captain who has no power to pronounce judgments, 
but only to hear cases and forward them to the city of Cali for 
decision. These remarks seem sufficient to give the reader 
a knowledge of how the port of Buenaventura was first 
established." The only means of conveying merchandise 
from the port to the city of Cali is by the aid of the Indians 
of the intervening mountains, whose ordinary work is to 
carry it on their backs, for it is impossible to transport it in 
any other way. If it was desired to make a road, I beheve 
that laden beasts could not pass over it on account of the 

It is true that there is 

1 The licentiate Pascual de Andagoya came to the Indies in the train 
of Pedrarias, governor of Panama, and was appointed governor of San 
Juan, inchiding the coast of the Pacific between the gulf of San jMiguel 
and the river of San Juan, in 1539. He landed at the mouth of the river 
Dagua, and marched inland mitil he came to the town of Cali, which he 
claimed as coming witliin the limits of his jurisdiction. At tliis time 
Belalcazar was in Spain, petitioning for the government of Popayan. 
When he received it, with the title of Adelantado, he came out by way of 
Panama, landed at Buenaventura, and marched to Cali. Here the peojile 
received him as their governor, and he arrested Andagoya as an intruder, 
and sent him prisoner to Spain. Andagoya was a learned man, and wrote 
a Relacion of his expedition, which occupies sixty pages of Xavarrete's 

2 Molhen describes Buenaventiu-a as consisting of a dozen huts inha- 
bited by negroes, a barrack with eleven soldiers, a battery of three guns, 
and the residence of the governor built of straw and bamboo, on an island 
called Kascakral, covered with grass, brambles, mud, serpents and toads. 
Travels in Colombia, 1824, p. 299. 


another way^ practicable for horses and cattle^ by tlie river 
of Dagua, but they pass it in constant peril, and many die 
by the way, while the rest arrive in such sorry condition 
that they are of no use for many days. 

AVhen a ship arrives at the port, the chiefs presently send 
down as many Indians as they can, according to the capa- 
city of their villages, and these porters come up by roads 
and passes with loads weighing three arrohas and more, and 
some of them carry men or women, even when they are 
stout, in chairs made of the bark of trees. In this way 
they journey with their loads, without showing fatigue, and 
without being overworked. If they should receive any pay, 
they would go off to their homes, but all that these poor 
fellows gain is taken by the encomenderos, though, in truth, 
they pay little tribute. It is said that they come and go 
willingly, but they in reality undergo great labour. When 
they come into the plain, and approach the city of Cali, they 
go along painfully. I have heard the Indians of New Spain 
highly praised for the great loads they carry, but these 
people between Cali and Buenaventura astonish me ; and if 
I had not seen it, and traversed the mountains where they 
have their villages, I could neither believe nor affirm it. 

Beyond these Indians there are other lands inhabited by 
warlike tribes, and the river of San Juan, which is mar- 
vellously rich, flows through them. These people have 
their houses fastened in trees. There are many other rivers, 
all rich in gold, the banks of which are inhabited by Indians, 
but they cannot be conquered because the land is covered 
with forests which are impenetrable, nor can the rivers be 
crossed without boats. The houses are veiy large, for each 
one contains twenty or thirty inhabitants. 

Amidst these rivers there was a Christian settlement 
founded, but I will say little concerning it because it lasted 
only a short time. The natives killed one Payo Romero, 
who was there as the lieutenant of the Adelantado Anda- 


goya, for lie had received all these rivers from his Majesty, 
with the title of governor of the river of San Juan. The 
Indians deceitfully enticed Payo Romero, and other Chris- 
tians, on to a river in canoes, saying that they wjinted to 
give them plenty of gold, and soon so many Indians 
assembled that they killed all the Spaniards, but they 
took Payo Romero alive, inflicting cruel torments upon 
him, and slicing off his members till he died. They also 
took two or three women ahve, and dealt very cruelly with 
them. Some of the Christians, by great good luck, escaped 
from the cruelty of the Indians. No further attempt was 
made to establish this village, for that land is evil. 

I wiU now relate what there is between this city of Cali 
and that of Popayan. 


In which the road is described from the city of Cali to that of Popayan, 
and concerning the villages of Indians that lie between them. 

The distance from the city of Cali to the city of Popayan is 
twenty-two leagues, over a good level road without any 
forest, although there are some zigzag ascents, but they are 
not rugged nor difficult, like those we have left behind. 
Leaving, then, the city of Cali, the road passes through 
meadows and plains watered by rivers, until one is reached, 
which is not very large, called Xamundi,^ spanned by a 
bridge of stout canes. He who has a horse crosses by a 
ford without any danger. 

Near the source of this river there are Indians whose 

district, also called Xamundi, extends over three or four 

leagues. The district and river take their name from that 

of a chief. These Indians trade with those of the pro\nnce 

' Or Jamondi. 


of Timbas, and they collect much gold, whicli they have 
suppHed in great quantity to those who hold them in 

Five leagues further on, in the same road to Popayan, is 
the great river of Santa Martha, where there are always 
balsas and canoes, so that it can be crossed without danger, 
and thus the Indian inhabitants go and come from one city 
to the other. The banks of this river were once very 
populous, but the people have been extirpated by time and 
by the war which they waged with the captain Belalcazar, 
who was the first to discover and conquer them. Although 
he was one cause of their rapid destruction, yet another 
cause of it was their evil custom and accursed vice of eating 
each other. The remains of these tribes and nations consist 
of a diminished race on both banks of the river, who are 
called Aguales, and who are subject to the city of Cali. 
There are, however, many Indians in the mountains on 
each side, who, on account of the difficulty in penetrat- 
ing their country, and of the troubles in Peru, have not yet 
been subjugated. Concealed and isolated as they are, they 
have yet been seen by the invincible Spaniards, and defeated 
many times. They all go naked, and have the same customs 
as their neighbours. 

After crossing the great river, which is fourteen leagues 
from the city of Popayan, there is a morass about a quarter 
of a league in extent, and beyond it the road is very good, 
until the river called Ovejas is reached. There is much 
risk to him who attempts to cross this river in the winter 
time, for it is very deep, and the ford is near its mouth, 
where it falls into the great river. Many Spaniards and 
Indians have been drowned here. On the other side of 
this river there is a smooth plain, six leagues in extent, and 
very good for travelling, and at the end of it a river called 
Piandomo is crossed. Its banks, and the whole of this 
' Sec note to page 72. 


plain, were once well peopled, but those whom the fnry of 
the war has spared, have retired to a distance from the 
road, where they think they are safer. To the eastward is 
the province of Guambia, and many other chiefs and vil- 
lages. Beyond the river of Piandomo, there is another 
called Plaza, the banks of which are well peopled, both at 
its sources, and all along- its course. Then the great river 
is again crossed by a ford, and from this point to Popayan 
the whole country is covered with beautiful farms, such 
as in Spain we call alcarias or cortijos,^ and here the 
Spaniards have their flocks. These plains are also sown 
with maize, and it is here that they have begun to sow 
wheat. The land will yield great quantities, for it is well 
suited to its growths. In other parts of this country they 
reap the maize in five or six months, so that they have two 
crops in the year. They, however, only sow it once in the 
year on this plain, and their harvest is in May and June ; 
that of wheat in July and August, as in Spain. All these 
meadows and plains were once very populous, and subject 
to the lord whose name was Popayan, one of the principal 
chiefs in these provinces. Now there are few Indians, 
owing to the war with the Spaniards, and to their custom 
of eating each other, and also to the great famine, which 
was caused by their not sowing the crops, with the hope 
that, there being no food, the Spaniards would leave their 
country. There are many fruit trees, especially aguacatcs 
or pears, which are abundant and savoury. The rivers 
rising in the Cordillera of the Andes flow through these 
plains, and the water is very limpid and sweet. In some of 
them there are signs of gold. 

The site of the city is on a high table land, in an excel- 
lent situation, being the healthiest and most temperate of 
any in the government of Popayan, and even in the greater 
part of the kingdom of Peru. Truly the climate is more 
1 Grange or farm. 


like Spain than tlie Andes. There are large houses of 
straw in the city. This city of Popayan is the chief and 
head of all the cities I have described, except that of Uraba, 
which belongs to the government of Carthagena. All the 
rest are under Popayan, which contains a cathedral church, 
and, as this is the principal and most central city, the 
government is entitled Popayan. To the east is the long 
chain of the Andes ; to the west are other mountains which 
overhang the South Sea, and on the other side are the 
plains which I have described. The city of Popayan was 
founded by the captain Don Sebastian de Belalcazar,^ in the 

1 After the fall of Robledo, our author attached his fortunes to those 
of Belalcazar. 

Sebastian de Belalcazar was born in a village called Belalcazar, on the 
borders of Estremadura and Andalucia. He was the child of a peasant, 
and one day, having killed the only donkey possessed by his family because 
it was slow in getting over a miry road, the ill-conditioned young rascal 
run away, fearing to return home, and reached Seville in 1514. At that 
time Pedi-arias was enlisting men for his expedition to the isthmus of 
Darien, and the fugitive took service as a soldier in one of the sliips. He 
knew not of any other name by wliich he was called, save Sebastian, and 
to it was added the name of his birthplace. It is said that his father's 
name was jMoyano. On one occasion his sagacity saved the governor 
Pedrarias when he was nearly lost in the woods near Darien, and from 
that time his fortune was made. Pedrarias sent liim in the expedition to 
Nicaragua, where he assisted in the founding of the city of Leon, and he 
afterwards followed Pizarro to Peru. Pizarro appointed hun governor of 
San Miguel, whence he marched, with a force of one hundred and forty 
well-armed soldiers, to the city of Quito in 1533. In 1536 he set out 
from Quito, discovered Popayan and Pasto, and the valley of the Cauca, 
and reached Bogota in 1538. Thence he descended the INIagdalena and 
retiirned to Spain, where, to check the ambition of the Pizarros, Charles V 
granted him the government of Popayan, with the title of adelantado. 
He went out again by way of Panama, landed at Buenaventura on the 
Pacific coast, and marched to Call, where he seized Andagoya and esta- 
blished his own authority. Afterwards he was wounded fighting on the 
side of the Viceroy Vela against Gonzalo Pizarro at Anaquito, he treated 
Robledo with harsh cruelty, and he marched to the assistance of the Pre- 
sident Gasca against Gonzalo PizaiTO, on which occasion he was accom- 
panied by our author. Briceuo, a judge, who had married the widow of 
Robledo, was sent to examine into the conduct of Belalcazar, and, urged 


name of the Emperor Charles, our lord, by authoritj' of the 
Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor of all Peru, 
for his Majesty, in the year of the Lord 1 53G. 


Concerning the river of Santa ]Martha,i and of the things wliich arc met 
with on its banks. 

Now that I have reached the city of Popayan, and described 
its site, neighbourhood, founding, and people, it seems well 
that I should give an account of the river which flows near 
it, and which is one of the two branches which form the 
great river of Santa Martha. Before treating of this river, 
however, I will relate what I find in the Scriptures con- 
cerning the four principal rivers mentioned there, which 
are, first, the Ganges, flowing through the East Indies ; 
second, the Nile, separating Asia from Africa, and watering 
the land of Egypt ; third and fourth, the Tigris and Eu- 
phrates, which encircle the two regions of Mesopotamia ,and 
Cappadocia. These are the four which are said, in the 
Holy Scriptures, to issue out of the earthly paradise. I 
also find that mention is made of three others, which are the 
river Indus, whence India takes its name ; the river Danube, 
being the principal in Europe ; and the river Tanais, divid- 
ing Europe from Asia. Of all these, the greatest is the 
Ganges, concerning which Ptolemy says, in his book of 
geography, that the naiTOwest part is eight thousand paces, 

by his wTfe, was not veiy favourably disposed towards liim. Indeed he 
condemned him to death for the murder of Robledo. Belalcazar appealed, 
and set out for Spain with a hea^-j^ heart. He died at Carthagena on his 
way home in the year 1.550. 

' The Magdalena. By the two branches he means the Magdalena and 
the Cauca. 


and the broadest twenty thousand paces across. According to 
this, the broadest part of the Ganges is seven leagues across. 
This is the exti-eme breadth of the largest river in the world, 
that was known before the discovery of these Indies. But 
now they have found rivers of such strange bigness, that 
they appear more like gulfs of the sea, than rivers which 
flow through the land. This appears from what is stated 
by many of the Spaniards who went with the Adelantado 
Orellana. They declare that the river which flows from 
Peru into the North Sea (commonly called the Amazons or 
Marailon) is more than a thousand leagues long, and in 
some parts twenty-five broad; and the Rio de la Plata 
is said by many who have been there to be so broad that, in 
many places, the banks on either side are not visible from 
the centre of the stream, being* more than eight leagues 
across. The river of Darien, too, is great, and that of 
Urapa is no smaller, and there are many others of great 
size in these Indies, amongst which is this river of Santa 

The river of Santa Martha is formed by two branches. 
One of these, which flows by the city of Popayan, rises in 
the great Cordillera of the Andes, in some valleys formed 
by the mountains five or six leagues from the city. These 
valleys were well peopled in former times, and are so to this 
day, though not so thickly, by certain Indians whom they 
call Coconucos, and among these, near a village called 
Cotara, this river has its source, which, as I have before 
said, is one of the branches of the great and rich river of 
Santa Martha. 

The sources of the two branches are forty leagues from 
each other, and the river is so lai'ge at the place where they 
unite, that it has a breadth of one league, while, where it 
enters into the North Sea, near the city of Santa Martha, it 
is seven leagues broad, and its force is so great that its 
waters enter into the waves at last to be converted into a 


part of the sea. Many ships have taken in good fresh 
water from it out at sea, for its force is so mighty that it 
passes for more than four leagues into the sea before it 
mingles with the salt water. It enters the sea by many 
mouths and openings. In the mountain of the Coconucos 
(which I have already said is the birth-place of one of the 
branches) it is like a little brook, but it flows on to the 
broad valley of Cali, receiving streams from mountains on 
both sides, so that, when it reaches the city of Cali, it is so 
great and powerful that to me it seemed to have as much 
water as the Guadalquivir at Seville. Lower down, when 
it reaches Buritica, near the city of Antiochia, having re- 
ceived many more streams, it is still larger. There are 
provinces and villages of Indians from the source of this 
river to the point where it enters the ocean, and such wealth 
of gold, both in mines and in the possession of the Indians, 
that it cannot be exaggerated, it being so groat. The 
natives of these regions are not very intelligent, and they 
have so many languages that, in going amongst them, it was 
necessary to take many interpreters. 

All the wealth of the province of Santa Martha, most of 
that of Carthagena, of Nueva Granada, and of the province 
of Popayan, is near this river; and, besides the country 
which has been discovered near its banks, there are rumours 
of populous districts between the two branches, which have 
yet to be explored. The Indians say that in these districts 
there is great store of riches, and that the Indians who are 
natives possess the mortal herb of Uraba. The Adelantado 
Don Pedro de Heredia passed by the bridge of Bronuco, 
where, the river flowing in great strength, the Indians 
had made a bridge with trees and strong creepers, after 
the fashion of the bridges I have described already. He 
went some days march by land, but returned, having few 
horses and Spaniards with him. The Adelantado Don 
Sebastian de Belalcazar also wished to send another captain 



by a route more to the eastward^ wliicli is less dangerous, 
called the valley of Aburra, to explore the country tho- 
roughly between the two branches of this great river. But 
when he was on the road the enterprise was abandoned, in 
order to send the troops to the viceroy Blasco Nunez Vela, 
at the time when he was at war with Gonzalo Pizarro and 
his followers. 

Returning to the subject of this river of Santa Martha, I 
would observe that, where the two branches unite, a number 
of islands are formed, some of which are inhabited. Near 
the sea there are many very fierce alligators and other great 
fish, called manatee,'^ which are as large as a calf, and are 
born on the beaches and islands. They come out to browse 
when they can do so without danger, and presently return 
to their haunts. About one hundred and twenty leagues 
below the city of Antiochia, that of Mompox has been 
founded, within the jurisdiction of Carthagena, and here 
they call this river the Cauca. The length of the river from 
its source to the sea is more than four hundred leagues. 


In which the account of the villages and chiefs subject to the city of 
Popayan is concluded ; and what there is to be said until the 
boundary of Popayan is passed. 

This city of Popayan has many large villages within the 
boundaries of its jurisdiction. Towards the east it has the 

' Manatus Americanus. Tliey are also called by the Spaniards Vaca 
Marina^ and by the Portuguese Pegebuey^ and they abound in tlie great 
South American rivers, especially in the Amazon. The manatee is a sort 
of poiijoise, often eight feet long. See the very interesting account of it 
given by Acuua, at page 68 of my translation of that author. (Hakluyt 
Society's Vol. for 1859.) 



populous province of Guambia, and others called Guanza, 
Maluasa, Polindara, Palace, Tembio, and Colaza, all 
thickly peopled. The Indians of these districts have 
much gold of seven quilates, more or less. They also 
have some fine gold, of which they make ornaments, 
but the quantity is small in proportion to the baser kind. 
They are warhke, and as great butchers as those of the 
provinces of Arma, Pozo, and Antiochia. But as these 
nations have no knowledge of our true God Jesus Christ, it 
seems that little account should be taken of their life and 
customs. Not that they fail to understand all that pleases 
them and is good in their eyes, living cunningly, and com- 
passing the death of each other in their wars. And they 
also had great wars with the Spaniards, without caring to 
keep the peace which they had promised, until at last they 
were conquered. Before they would yield, they preferred 
to die rather than be subjected, such was their hardihood, 
and they behoved that the want of provisions would force 
the Spaniards to leave the country. In truth the Spaniards 
suffered much misery from famine, before they could fully 
establish their new settlement. The natives were the cause 
of the loss of thousands of lives, eating each others^ bodies, 
and sending their souls to hell. At first some care was 
taken for the conversion of these Indians, but they were 
not suppHed with complete knowledge of our holy religion, 
owing to the want of priests. At present things are in 
better order, both as to their treatment and conversion ; for 
his Majesty, with great zeal for Christianity, has ordered 
that they shall be preached to. And the lords of the 
high council of the Indies take great care that this order 
is comphed with, and have sent out learned friars of holy 
life and manners, so that, by the favour of God, great fruit 
will be derived from their labours. 

Towards the snowy mountains or Cordillera of the Andes, 
there are many valleys thickly inhabited by Indians called 


Coconucos^ in whose country the g]'eat river takes its rise. 
Their customs are the same as those of the Indians we have 
left behind^ except that they do not commit the abominable 
sin of eating human flesh. There are many volcanoes^ or 
fiery mouths, in the lofty parts of the mountains, and out of 
one comes hot water, from which they make salt. Their 
art in making salt is a thing well worthy of note, and I 
promise to give an account of it further on, after I have 
finished what I have to say concerning the town of Paste. 
Near these Indians there is a village called Zotara, and 
further on another called Guanaca. 

To the eastward is the extensive province of the Paes, 
who have worked so much evil to the Spaniards. It 
contains seven or eight thousand Indians fit for war, who 
are valiant and dexterous in fighting, with fine bodies, and 
very clean. They have their captains whom they obey, 
and five in valleys surrounded by very rugged mountains 
through which many rivers and streams flow, and in which 
it is believed there are good mines. In fighting, they use 
stout lances of black palm wood, twenty-five palmos long, 
besides huge stones, which they throw or roll down w^hen 
occasion serves. They have killed so many valiant Spaniards, 
as well captains as soldiers, that it causes sorrow and fear 
to behold what injury these Indians have done, being so 
few. But there were grave faults on the part of those who 
were killed, in that they held these people so cheap, and 
God permitted that the Spaniards should fall, and the 
Indians be victorious. So things went on until the Adelan- 
tado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar destroyed their crops, and 
forced them to make peace. 

Towards the east is the province of Guachico, and further 
on are many other provinces. To the south is the village 
of Cochesquio, and the small Lagoon, also the district they 
call Las Barrancas, where there is a small village of the 
same name. Further on are other villages, the river called 


Las Juntas, another called Los Capitanes, the great pro- 
vince of Masteles, and the district of Patia, which includes 
a beautiful valley watered by a river that is fed by streams 
flowing from the other district. This river carries its waters 
into the South Sea. All these plains and valleys were 
once thickly peopled, but the natives who have survived 
the wars have retired into the heights and fastnesses which 
overhang them. 

Towards the west is the pro\^nce of Bomba and other 
villages, whose inhabitants trade with each other, besides 
other districts peopled by many Indians, where a town 
has been founded, and they call them the provinces of 
Chapanchita. All these villages are situated in fertile 
land, and they have a great quantity of gold. In some 
parts idols have been seen, but there is no report of 
any temple or house of worship having been met with. 
They converse with the devil, and, by his advice, they do 
many things in accordance with his wishes. They have no 
knowledge of the immortality of the soul, but they think 
that their chiefs will return to hfe, and some believe (as I 
have been informed) that the souls of the dead enter into 
the bodies of the newly born. They perform ceremonies at 
the burial of their dead, and place them in large and deep 
tombs. With their chiefs they inter some women and aU 
their property, besides food and wines. In some parts they 
burn the bodies until they are converted to ashes, and in 
others they merely preserve the dried bodies. 

In these provinces there are the same fruits and pro- 
visions as in those we have left behind, except that there 
are no jjixibae palms, but they gather great quantities of 
potatoes. The people go naked and barefoot without more 
clothes than a small mantle and a few ornaments of gold. 
The women go covered with small mantles of cotton, and 
wear necklaces of small flies made of pure gold, which are 
very pretty and becoming. As to their customs in the 


matter of marriage, I will not relate anything about them 
because tliey are cliildisb, and I also pass over other 
matters as being of no importance. Some of the Indians 
are great magicians and sorcerers. We here learnt, also, 
that there are many herbs, both wholesome and harmful, in 
these parts. All the Indians eat human flesh. The por- 
vince round Popayan was one of the most populous in all 
Peru, and if it had been subjected by the Yncas it would 
have been the best and richest of all. 


In which an account is given of what there is between Popayan and the 
city of Pasto ; who was the founder of Pasto ; and what there is to 
be said concerning the natives of the neighbouring districts. 

The city of Popayan is forty leagues from the town of 
Pasto, and the first village on the road was great and very 
populous in ancient times, as well as when the Spaniards 
discovered it, and even now it contains many Indians. 
The valley of Patia becomes very narrow at this village, and 
the Indians live in deep and lofty ravines on the western 
side. The Spaniards call the place " El pueblo de la Sal." 
It is very rich, and has yielded goodly tribute of fine gold 
to those who have held the encomienda here. The natives, 
in their arms, dress, and customs, resemble those of the 
countries we have already passed, except that they do not 
eat human flesh, and are a little more civilised. They have 
many very fragrant pine-apples, and they trade with the 
province of Chapanchita and with other neighbouring dis- 
tricts. Beyond this village is the province of Masteles, 
which contains, or did contain, more than four thousand 
Indians fit for war. Adjoining it is the province of the 
Abades and the villages of Ysancal and Pangan and 


Caquanpas, and that tliey call '' Los Chorros/' and Piclii- 
linbuy, also Tuyles and Angayan, Pagual, Chuclialdo, and 
many more. Inland, towards the west, there are reports 
of many more Indian villages and rich mines in districts 
extending as far as the South Sea. The following villages 
also border on the road, namely, Asqual, Mallama, Tucurres, 
Sapuys, lies, Gualmatal, Funes, Chapal, Males and Piales, 
Pupiales, Turca, and Cumba. All these villages were in- 
habited by chiefs and Indians called Pastes, and hence the 
town of Pasto has received its name, being as much as to 
say, " the town built in the land of Pasto /' also another 
tribe of Indians borders on the Indians called Pastos, who 
are known as the Quillacingas, and whose villages are to the 
eastward, and are well peopled. The names of their prin- 
cipal villages are Mocondino, Bexendino, Buyzaco, Guajan- 
zangua, Mocoxonduque, Quaquanquer, and Macaxamata. 
Still further to the east there is another province, which is 
somewhat larger and more fertile, called Pastoco, and 
another near a lake on the summit of a mountain, where the 
water is so cold that, though the lake is eight leagues long 
and more than four broad, no fish nor bird can Hve in it. 
The land, too, produces no maize, nor are there any trees. 
Tliere is another lake near it of the same kind. Further on 
there are great mountains, and the Spaniards do not know 
what there is on the other side of them. 

There are other villages on the road to this city, but it 
seems unnecessary to enumerate them, ha\nng already men- 
tioned the principal ones. With regard to this city of 
Pasto, I have to say that no city or town in the whole 
government of Popayan has so many Indians subject to it, 
and it even has more than Quito and other places in Peru. 
Populous as the district now is, in ancient times it must have 
been far more populous, for it is most astonishing to see, in 
all the wide spread plains, on the banks of rivers, on the hills 
and lofty mountains, that there is not a part (how rugged 


and inaccessible soever) wliicli does not give signs of having 
been tilled or built over in times past. The customs of 
these Indians, called Quillacingas and Pastos, differ from 
those of the people we have passed, for the Pastes do not 
eat human flesh, either when they fight with the Spaniards 
or with each other. Their arms are stones thrown from the 
hand, staves hke shepherds' crooks, and a few badly-made 
lances. They are a poor-spirited people. The chiefs are 
well-mannered, but the rest of the Indians are ill-favoured, 
as well the men as the women, and all very dirty, but 
gentle and good-tempered. All these Indians are so nasty, 
that, when they louse themselves, they eat the hce as if they 
had been nuts, and their drinking vessels and cooking 
utensils are very seldom cleaned out. They have no creed, 
nor have idols been seen amongst them, but they beheve 
that after death they will come to hfe again to live in some 
pleasant and delightful place. There are some things 
amongst these Indians that are so secret that God alone can 
penetrate them. Their women go dressed in a narrow 
cloth which covers them from the bosom to the knees, 
with a smaller one falling over it. These mantles are made 
either of the bark of a tree or of cotton. The men wear a 
mantle three or four varas long, which is passed once round 
the waist, and then over the neck, the end being wrapped 
round the head. The QuiUacingas, as well as the Pastes, 
also wear a cloth between the legs. They wear a mantle of 
cotton, which is broad and flowing, with another over the 
shoulders, the women wearing one which falls over the 
bosom. The Quillacingas converse with the devil. They 
have neither temple nor creed, and when they die the 
bodies are put into large and deep tombs, together with aU 
the property of the deceased, which is not much. If the 
dead man has been a chief, they bury some of his wives 
and servants with him. They also have a custom, which is 
this (according to what I am told) : when one of the chiefs 


dieSj the sin-rounding cliiofs send two or tlireo of their 
women, who are taken to the tomb and given enough 
maize-wine to make them drunk. As soon as they are 
insensible they are buried in the tomb to keep company 
with the dead man; so that none of these savages die with- 
out having twenty persons to keep them company, and, 
besides these people, they put many jars of wine and other 
provisions into the tomb. 

When I passed through the country of these Indians, I 
collected the particulars which I now relate with great dili- 
gence, making all the inquiries I possibly could ; and, 
among other things, I asked why they practised such an 
evil custom, and why, not content with burying their own 
women ahve, they sought for more victims from amongst 
their neighbours ? I found out that the devil appears in a 
terrible and appalling form (according to their own account), 
and gives them to understand that they will come to hfe 
again in a great kingdom which is prepared for them, and 
that they will arrive with more authority if they are well 
attended. They also fall into other sins through the wiles 
of this accursed enemy. God our Lord knows why he 
allows the devil to converse with these people, and to wield 
such great power over them by deceiving them. Now his 
Divine Majesty is displayed, and many Indians, abhorring 
the devil, have embraced our holy reKgion. Some of the 
Pastes converse with the devil. When the chiefs die, all 
possible honour is done to their memory ; the people mourn 
for many days, and the same things are put into their 
tombs as I have already stated. 

The districts of Paste yield but little maize, but there 
are great breeding-places for cattle, and especially for pigs, 
which are raised in vast quantities. The country yields 
much barley, potatoes, and xiquimas,^ and there are very 

1 I cannot make out what this can be. It may possibly mean the grain 
called qninoa {Chenopodimn Qitinoa), which is cultivated in the loftier 
parts of the Andes. 


luscious granadUlas^ and other fruits. In the country of the 
Quillacingas there is plenty of maize and much fruit, except 
in the neighbourhood of the lake, where the people have 
neither trees nor maize, the land being so cold. These 
Quillacingas are warlike and untameable. There are great 
rivers of very remarkable water in their country, and it is 
believed that some of them contain abundance of gold. 
One of these rivers flows between Popayan and Pasto, called 
the hot river, which is dangerous and difl&cult to cross in 
the winter time. They have stout ropes stretched from one 
bank to the other, for crossing it. This river contains the 
most excellent water I have met with in the Indies, or even 
in Spain. Beyond this river, on the road to Pasto, there is 
a mountain, of which the ascent is three good leagues long. 
The famous chase which Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers 
gave the Viceroy Blasco Nunez Vela, extended as far as 
this river. 


In wliich the account of what there is in this country is concluded, as 
far as the boundary of Pasto. 

There is another rather large river in this country of the 
Pastos, called Ancasmayu,^ which is the point to which the 
King Huayna Ccapac, son of the great captain Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui, extended his conquests. Having passed the hot 
river, and the mountain beyond it, the road continues over 
some plains and hills, and crosses a small paramo,^ where 
there was no little cold when I travelled over it. Further 
on there is a high mountain, on the summit of Avhich a 
volcano sends forth quantities of smoke at intervals, and in 

^ The fruit of the passion-flower. - Literally " Blue river." 

3 Paramo is the name given, in the Quito provinces, to the elevated 
plateaux of the Andes. In Peru they are called Punas. 


times past, the natives say, it threw out volleys of stones. 
Coming from Popayan, this volcano is left on the right-hand 
side. The town of Pasto is situated in a very beautiful 
valley, through which a river of very sweet and whole- 
some water flows, fed by numerous springs and brooks. 
This valley is called Atris, and was formerly very populous, 
but the inhabitants have now retired to the mountains. It 
is surrounded by mountains, some wooded and others bare, 
and the Spaniards have their farms and hunting-lodges in 
the valley. The banks of the river are always sown with 
much excellent wheat, barley, and maize, and there is a 
mill where the wheat is ground, for in this town they do 
not eat maize-bread, owing to the abundance of wheat. In 
the plains there are quantities of deer, rabbits, partridges, 
doves, pigeons, pheasants, and turkeys, and the Indians 
take many in the chase. The land of the Pastes is ex- 
cessively cold, and in summer it is colder than in winter, 
the same thing occurring in the town of the Christians, 
insomuch that the company of a wife is by no means 
irksome to a husband, nor is plenty of clothes disagreeable. 
The delightful town of Pasto was founded and settled by 
the captain Don Lorenzo de Aldana, in the name of his 
Majesty, the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being his 
governor and captain-general of all the provinces of Peru, 
in the year of our Lord 1539. The said Lorenzo de Aldana 
was lieutenant-general for the same Don Francisco Pizarro 
in Quito, Pasto, Popayan, Timana, Cab, Anzerma, and 
Cartage. He governed them all, either himself or through 
lieutenants whom he named, and, as is said by many con- 
querors in these parts, he ordered that the natives should 
be well treated during the whole time that he was in com- 

^ Lorenzo de Aldana came to Peru with the Adelantado Pedro de 
Alvarado. He was appointed lieutenant-governor of Quito by Pizarro, 
and it was then that he founded the town of Pasto. Diu-ing the subse- 
quent civil wars he acted a very conspicuous part, especially in the battle 



Of the notable foimtains and rivers in these provinces, and how they 
make salt of good quality by a very cm-ious ai-tifice. 

Before I treat of the kingdom of Peru^ or leave tlie govern- 
ment of Popayan^ it seems to me well to give some account 
of the notable fountains there are in this land, and of the 
rivers of water from which they make salt^ for thus the 
people are sustained, having no salt pits in these parts, and 
the sea being far distant. 

When the Hcentiate Juan de Vadillo set out from Car- 
thagena, we marched over the mountains of Abibe, which 
are very rugged and difficult to cross, so that we passed a 
time of no little hardship ; most of the horses died, and we 
were obliged to leave the greater part of our baggage in the 
road; and, having reached the plain, we found many vil- 

of Chupas, when the younger Ahnagro was defeated. "Wlien Gonzalo 
Pizarro determined to send an embassy to Spain to obtain a confirmation 
of his authority, Aldana was selected as his envoy in 1546 ; but he was 
won over to the side of Gasca at Panama, by the persuasions of that wily 
ecclesiastic. He was then sent to cruise off Callao, and receive all those 
on board who washed to join the royal cause ; and during the remainder 
of the struggle he took an active part against his old commander. Aldana 
died at Arequipa in 1556, unmarried and leaving no children. In his 
will he left all his property to the Indians whom he had received in 
repartimiento^ for the payment of their tribute in future years. He seems 
to have been a noble minded man, and superior to the common run of 
Simnish conquistador es. Aldana was not the only conquistador whose 
conscience smote him on his death bed, when too late, for his treatment 
of the Indians. The curious dying confession of Marcio Serra de Le- 
jesama, addressed to Philip II in 1589, is another instance of these stony- 
hearted men being moved at last. {Calancha^ i, cap. 15, p. 98.). After 
telling the simple truth concerning the poor Indians, their former happy 
state, and the desolate misery to which the Spaniards had reduced them, 
the guilty wretch thus concludes : "I pray to God that he will pardon 
me, for I am the last to die of all the conquerors and discoverers ; it is 
notorious that there are none surviving except I alone, in all this king- 
dom nor out of it ; and I now do what I can to relieve my conscience." 


lages, with great store of fruit trees, and broad rivers. 
But, as the stock of salt which we had brought with us 
from Carthagena was coming to an end, our food being 
herbs and beans for want of meat, except that of horses 
and a few dogs we caught ; we began to feel distress, and 
many, from the want of salt, began to lose their colour, and 
became yellow and thin. We procured some things in the 
Indian farms, but there was only a little black salt mixed 
with the aji that the natives eat, and even this was very 
scarce, so that he thought himself fortunate who could get 
any. Necessity teaches men notable things, and we found 
a lake in a small mountain, the water of which was black 
and salt. We put a quantity of this water into jars, which 
gave us a relish for our food. 

The natives of these provinces take the quantity of water 
they require either from this lake or from others of the 
same kind, and boil it in great jars. As soon as the fire has 
consumed the greater part of the water, black salt remains 
at the bottom, with which, though not of good taste, they 
season their food, and Hve without feeling the want that 
would let itself be known if it were not for these fountains. 

Divine Providence takes such care of his creatures that, 
in all parts, he gives them what they require ; and if men 
would always consider the ways of nature, they would know 
the obligation they are under to serve our true God. 

In the province called Cori, which is near the town of 
Anzerma, there is a river which flows with considerable 
force, and near it there are some ponds of salt water, whence 
the Indians obtain the quantity they require, and, making 
great fires, they place jars of this salt water on them, and 
set the water to boil until from an arroha there is not left 
half an azumhre. Then their experience enables them to 
convert the residue into as pure and excellent salt as is 
made from the salt-pits of Spain. Throughout the districts 
of Antioquia there are many of these foimtains, and they 


make so mucli salt that they take it inland, and exchange 
it for gold, cotton cloth, and other things which they may 

Beyond the great river which flows near the city of CaH, 
and near that of Popayan, towards the north, we discovered 
a village called Mungia, in company with the captain Jorge 
Robledo, whence we crossed the Cordillera of the Andes, 
and discovered the valley of Aburra and its plains. 

In this village of Mungia, and in another called Cenu- 
sara, we found some other fountains in mountains near a 
river, and from these fountains the natives made so much 
salt that their houses were full of it, moulded into shapes 
exactly like loaves of sugar. They took this salt by the 
valley of Aburra to the provinces to the eastward, which 
have not been discovered or seen by the Spaniards to this 
day. This salt has made the Indians exceedingly rich. 

In the province of Caramanta, which is not very distant 
from the town of Anzerma, there is a fountain which rises 
out of a river of sweet water, and turns some of its water 
into a vapour resembling smoke, which assuredly must 
arise from there being some metal in that part. The Indians 
make good black salt from this water, and they also say 
that they know of a lake near a great rock, at the foot of 
which there is the same kind of water. They make salt 
from this water for their chiefs, for they say that it makes 
better and whiter salt than in any other part. 

In the province of Anzerma, and in all its districts, there 
are fountains of the same sort, from which they make salt. 

In the provinces of Arma, Carrapa, and Picara, they 
suffer much from the want of salt, there being many in- 
habitants and few of these fountains, so that the salt that is 
brought fetches a high price. 

In the city of Cartage every citizen has his apparatus for 
making salt, which is prepared in an Indian viUage called 
Consota, a league from the city, where a small river flows. 


Near the river there is a mountain, out of which comes a 
hirge spring of very black and thick water. The water is 
taken from this spring and boiled in cauldrons until it is 
nearly all evaporated, when a white-grained salt remains, 
as good as that of Spain. The citizens of that city use no 
other salt than that which is obtained from this spring. 
Further on there is another village called Coyusa, near 
which flows several rivers of very remarkable water. I 
noticed in them a thing which astonished me not a little. 
This was that certain brackish pools were formed by these 
streams, and also at the source whence they take their rise ; 
and that the Indians, with much industry, had certain 
pipes, made of the stout canes of these parts, fixed in them 
after the manner of ships' pumps, so that they could pump 
up the quantity of water they required, and make their salt 
from it. 

In the city of Cali there are none of these springs, and 
the Indians get their salt by barter from a province near 
the sea, called Timbas. Those who cannot make the ex- 
change boil fresh water, and mix a certain herb with it, by 
which they make a bad salt of very evil smell. The 
Spaniards who live in this city do not feel the want of salt 
because the port of Buenaventura is near, and vessels arrive 
there from Peru with large blocks of salt. 

In the city of Popayan there are some of these fountains, 
especially among the Coconucos, but not so many, nor of 
such good quahty as those of Anzerma and Cartage. At 
Paste all the salt is obtained by trading, and it is better 
than that of Popayan. I have seen many springs, besides 
those which I have now described, with my own eyes, but 
it seems to me that I have said enough to make the reader 
understand the manner of procuring salt from these springs. 
Having declared the method of making salt in these pro- 
vinces, I shall now pass on to the great kingdom of Peru. 



"VMiich contains tlie description and appearance of the kingdom of Peru 
from the city of Quito to the town of La Plata, a distance of more 
than seven hundred leagues. 

Now that I liave finislied what there is to be told respecting 
the province of Popajan, it appears to me that it is time to 
use my pen in giving an account of the notable things 
that are to be said of Peru, commencing from the city 
of Quito. But, before describing that city, it will be con- 
venient to give a sketch of the whole country, which is 
seven hundred leagues long and one hundred in breadth, 
rather more in some parts and less in others. 

I do not at present desire to treat of the whole empire 
over which the Kings Yncas ruled, which was more than 
one thousand two hundred leagues long, but I shall confine 
myself to that part which is understood under the name of 
Peru, from Quito to La Plata. 

In this land of Peru there are three desert ranges where 
men can in no wise exist. One of these comprises the 
montana (forests) of the Andes, full of dense wildernesses, 
where men cannot, nor ever have lived. The second is the 
mountainous region, extending the whole length of the 
Cordillera of the Andes, which is intensely cold, and its 
smnmits are covered with eternal snow, so that, in no way, 
can people live in this region, owing to the snow and the 
cold, and also because there are no provisions, all things 
being destroyed by the snow and by the wind, which never 
ceases to blow. The third range comprises the sandy deserts 
from Tumbez to the other side of Tarapaca, in which there 
is nothing to be seen but sand-hills and the fierce sun which 
dries them up, without water, nor herb, nor tree, nor 
created thing, except birds, which, by the gift of their 
wings, wander wherever they list. This kingdom, being 


SO vast, has groat deserts, for the reasons I have now 

The inhabited region is after this fashion. In parts 
of the mountains of the Andes there are ravines and 
dales, which open out into deep valleys of such width as 
often to form great plains between the mountains, and, 
although the snow falls, it all remains on the higher part. 
As these valleys are closed in, they are not molested by the 
winds, nor does the snow reach them, and the land is so 
fruitful that all things which are sown yield abundantly, and 
there are trees and many birds and animals. The land 
being so fertile, is well peopled by the natives. They make 
their villages with rows of stones roofed with straw, and 
live healthily and in comfort. Thus the mountains of the 
Andes form these dales and ravines, in which there are 
populous villages, and rivers of excellent water flow near 
them. Some of these rivers send their waters to the South 
Sea, entering by the sandy deserts which I have mentioned, 
and the humidity of their water gives rise to very beau- 
tiful valleys with great rows of trees. The valleys are two 
or three leagues broad, and great quantities of algoroha^ 
trees grow in them, which flourish even at great distances 
from any water. Wherever there are groves of trees the 
land is free from sand, and very fertile and abundant. In 
ancient times these valleys were very populous, and still 
there are Indians in them, though not so many as in former 
days. As it never rains in these sandy deserts and valleys 
of Peru, they do not roof their houses as they do in the 
mountains, but build large houses of adobes,- with pleasant 
terraced roofs of matting to shade them from the sun, nor 
do the Spaniards use any other roofing than these reed 
mats. To prepare their fields for sowing, they lead channels 
from the rivers to irrigate the valleys, and the channels are so 
well made, and with so much regularity, that all the land is 

• Frosopis horrida. Willd. ^ Bricks of immense size, baked in tlie sun. 


irrigated without any waste. This system of irrigation 
makes the valleys very green and cheerful, and they are 
full of the fruit trees both of Spain and of this country. 
At all times they raise good harvests of maize and wheat, 
and of everything that they sow. Thus, although I have 
described Peru as being formed of three desert ridges, yet 
from them, by the will of God, descend these valleys and 
rivers, without which no man could live. This is the cause 
why the natives were so easily conquered; for, if they 
rebelled, they would all perish of cold and hunger. Ex- 
cept the land which they inhabit, the whole country is full 
of snowy mountains of enormous height, and very terrible. 

This kingdom, as I have already said, is seven thousand 
leagues long from north to south, but if we include all the 
country that the Kings Yncas had under their dominion, its 
leno^th would be one thousand two hundred leagues of road 
from north to south on a meridian. Its greatest breadth, 
from east to west, will be little less than one hundred 
leagues, and in other places from forty to sixty, more or 
less. What I say of the length and breadth is to be under- 
stood as applied to the mountains also, which extend over 
the whole of this land of Peru. And this mighty chain, 
which is called the Andes, is forty leagues from the South 
Sea in some parts, in others sixty; in some more, and in 
others less. Being so very high, and the greatest heights 
being towards the South Sea, the rivers which flow from 
them on that side are small because their courses are short. 

The other chain of mountains, which also extends along 
the whole length of this country, prolongs its spurs into 
the plains, and ends close to the sea in some places, and at 
others eight or ten leagues from it, more or less. The climate 
of these plains is more hot than cold, and in some seasons 
more so than in others, and the plains are so low, that 
the sea is almost as high as the land. The season of greatest 
heat is when the sun has passed by and reached the tropic 


of Capricorn, which is on tho 11 th of December, and then it 
turns again towards the equinoctial line. In the moun- 
tains, although there are provinces with a warm climate, 
yet the contrary may be said of them, that there is more 
cold weather than hot. So much I have said concerning 
these provinces, and further on I shall add what more tlicre 
is to be observed concerning them. 


Of the villages and provinces between the town of Pasto and the city 
of Quito. 

Having written what is notable concerning the pleasant 
to-\vn of Pasto, it will now be well to continue the journey, 
by relating what there is on the road to the city of Quito. 

I said that the town of Pasto was built in the vaUey of 
Atris, within the territory of the Quillacingas, a shameless 
people, and they and the Pastes are very dirty, and are held 
in little estimation by their neighbours. Leaving the town 
of Pasto, the road leads to a village of the Pastes called 
Funes, and farther on there is another called lies. Three 
leagues more bring the traveller to Gualmatan, and 
another three leagues on the road towards Quito bring 
him to the village of Ipiales. 

In all these villages there is little or no maize, the country 
being very cold, and the maize seed very delicate. But 
they grow plenty of potatoes and quinoa^ besides other 
products. From Ipiales the road leads to a smaU district 
called Guaca, but before reaching it the road of the Yncas 
is seen, which is as famous in these parts as that which 
Hannibal made over the Alps when he descended into 
Italy. Indeed, the former ought to be held in more estima- 
' See note at page 143. 


tion, as well on account of the great lodgings and store- 
houses along its whole length, as for being made in spite of 
many difficulties over rugged and swampy mountains, so 
that it is a sight marvellous to behold. There is also a 
river near the road, close to which the place is seen where, 
in former days, the Kings Yncas had built a fortress. Here 
they made war upon the Pastes, and set out to conquer 
them. There is a natural bridge over the river which 
appears artificial. In truth it is a lofty and massive rock, 
■with a hole in it, through which the river passes in its fury^ 
and on the top all wayfarers can pass at their pleasure. 
This bridge is called Rumichaca^ in the language of the 
Yncas, which is as much as to say the " stone bridge." 

Near this bridge there is a fountain of hot water, the 
heat of which is such, that in no wise can any man keep his 
hand long in it. The land is so cold that no one can endure 
it without great suffering. The Kings Yncas intended to 
have built another fortress near the bridge, and they placed 
faithful guards in order to prevent the troops from return- 
ing to Cuzco or Quito, for the people held the region of the 
Pastes to be a worthless conquest. 

In all these villages there is a fruit called mortimos, which 
is smaller than a sloe, and black. If a man eats many of 
them he becomes giddy and sick, and for a whole day is in 
great pain. I know this, because when we went to give 
battle to Gonzalo Pizarro, a man named Rodrigo de las 
Penas came vsdth us, a friend of mine, and ensign to the 
captain Don Pedro de Cabrera. When we reached this 
village of Guaca, the said Rodrigo, having eaten some of 
these berries, suffered so much that we thought he would 
have died of them. 

From the small district of Guaca the road leads to Tusa, 
which is the last village of the Pastes. On the right hand 
are the mountains which overhang the sea of sweet water, 
' Rumi (a stone) and chaca (a bridge) in Quichua. 


and on the left the height which rises from the South Sea. 
Further on a small hill is reached, where a fortress may be 
seen, built by the Yncas in former days, which must be of 
no small strength for Indian warfare. Beyond this fort and 
the village of Tusa is the river of Mira, which is very 
warm, and on its banks there is plenty of fruit, such as 
melons, besides game, excellent rabbits, pigeons, and 
partridges. Here they reap large harvests of wheat, barley, 
and maize, for the land is very fertile. From the river 
there is a descent to the great and sumptuous buildings of 
Cavangue, but, before arriving at them, the lagoon of 
Yahuar-cocha^ is seen, which, in our languege, is as much 
as to say " the sea of blood." The Indians say that, before 
the arrival of the Spaniards, the King, Huayna Ccapac, for 
some offence committed by the natives of Carangue and 
other villages, ordered more than twenty thousand to be 
killed, and their bodies to be thrown into this lake. The 
dead men were so numerous that it looked like a sea of 
blood, for which reason this name was given.^ 

Further on are the buildings called Carangue, where 
some say that Atahualpa, the son of Huayna Ccapac, was 
born, for his mother was a native of this place. But this is 

> Yahuar (blood) and Cocha (a lake) in Quichua. 

"^ After the conquest of Quito by Huayna Ccapac, the cacique of 
Carangue was the first to submit to his authority, and, while he lulled 
the Ynca and his captaias into seciu-ity, he meditated their destruction 
by a sudden and secret blow. Siispecting nothing, they were encamped 
in his coimtry, when his Indians made a fiu'ious attack upon them in the 
dead of night, many of the nobles of the guard were killed, and the 
Ynca himself narrowly escaped with his life. Huayna Ccapac resolved 
to give these people of Carangue a terrible and memorable lesson. He 
put every man in the province, who was capable of bearing arpis, to 
death, and ordered their bodies to be thrown into the lake, which to this 
day is called " the lake of blood." GarcUasso de la Vega considers that 
the munber stated by Cieza de Leon to have been put to death on this 
occasion is an exaggeration, and that two thousand would be nearer the 
ti-uth than twenty thousand. G. de la Vega^ i, lib. ix, cap. ii ; Velasco^ 
i, p. 18. 


certainly not the case^ for I inquired into the matter with 
great care, and Atahualpa was born in Cuzco. Any other 
account of his birth is unworthy of credit. These buildings 
of Carangue are in a small square, and within there is a 
basin of cut stone. The palace and lodgings of the Yncas 
are also of elegant stones of great size, and are very neatly 
fitted without cement, which is a thing worthy of no small 
attention. Formerly there was a temple of the sun, and 
within there were more than two hundred beautiful maidens 
dedicated to the service, who were obhged to preserve their 
chastity, and if any of them failed to do so she was very cruelly 
punished. Those who committed adultery, which was con- 
sidered a great sacrilege, were buried aHve. These maidens 
were carefully watched, and there were also priests who 
performed the sacrifices enjoined by their rehgion. This 
house of the sun was held in great estimation in the days 
of the Lords Yncas. It was reverenced and guarded, and 
was full of great vases of gold and silver, and of other 
riches which cannot be quickly enumerated. Even the 
walls were lined with plates of gold and silver. Although 
it is now in a ruinous state, there is enough left to show 
that it was once a magnificent structure. The Yncas 
maintained a garrison of troops, with their ofiicers, in this 
station, who were here both in time of peace and war to put 
down any rising. Speaking of these Lords Yncas, I will 
treat somewhat of their greatness and power before passing 
onwards in our journey. 



In wliicli it is stated who were the Kings Yncas, and how they ruled 
over Peru. 

As I shall often liave to treat of tlie Yncas, and give an 
account of many of their buildings, and of other notable 
things, it appears to me to be appropriate that I should say- 
something concerning them in this place, that readers may 
know who these Yncas were, and not misunderstand their 
importance, or fall into mistakes about them. I, however, 
have written a special book upon them and their deeds, 
which is very copious. 

From the accounts which the Indians of Cuzco have given 
us, we gather that, in ancient times, there were great 
disorders in all the provinces of that kingdom which we 
now call Peru, and that the natives were so savage and 
stupid as to be beyond belief; for they say that these early 
tribes were bestial, and that many ate human flesh, others 
taking their mothers and daughters for their wives. Besides 
all this, they committed other greater sins, having much 
intercourse with the devil, whom they all served and held in 
high estimation. They had their castles and forts in the 
mountain fastnesses, and, on very slight provocation, they 
made war upon each other, killing and taking prisoners 
without mercy. Notwithstanding that they committed all 
these crimes and walked in wickedness, they are said to 
have been given to religion, which is the reason why, in 
many parts of this kingdom, great temples have been found 
where they prayed to, adored, and had interviews with the 
devil, making great sacrifices before their idols. The 
people of this kingdom hved in this manner, and great 
tyrants rose up in the provinces of Collas, in the valleys of 
the Yuncas, and in other parts, who made fierce wars upon 
each other, and committed many robberies and murders ; 


insomuch that they caused great calamities^ and many- 
castles were destroyed, while the devil, the enemy of human 
nature, rejoiced that so many souls should be lost. 

While all the provinces of Peru were in this state, two 
brothers rose up, the name of one of whom was Manco 
Ccapac. The Indians relate great marvels and very plea- 
sant fables respecting these men, which may be read by 
any one who pleases, when the book written by me on the 
subject sees the light. This Manco Ccapac founded the city 
of Cuzco, and established laws for the use of the people. He 
and his descendants were called Yncas, a word which signi- 
fies lords or kings. They conquered and dominated over 
all the country, from Pasto to Chile, and their banners 
were carried to the south as far as the river Maule, and 
north to the Ancasmayu. These rivers were the boundaries 
of the empire of these Yncas, which was so great, that 
from one end to the other is a distance of one thousand 
three hundred leagues. The Yncas built great fortresses, 
and in every province they had their captains and governors. 
They performed such great deeds, and ruled with such 
wisdom, that few in the world ever excelled them. They 
were very intelligent and learned without having letters, 
which had not been invented in these Indies. They intro- 
duced good customs into all the conquered provinces, and 
gave orders that the people should wear usutas in the place 
of leathern sandals. They thought much of the immortality 
of the soul, and of other secrets of nature. They believed 
that there was a Creator of all things, and they held the 
sun to be a god, to whom they built great temples ; but, 
deceived by the devil, they worshipped among trees and on 
stones, like heathens. In the principal temples they kept a 
great quantity of very beautiful virgins, just as was done 
in the Temple of Vesta, at Rome, and the rules concerning 
them were almost the same. They chose the bravest and most 
faithful captains they could find to command their armies. 


They were very astute and artful in turning enemies into 
friends without having resort to war, but they chastised 
rebels with severity and cruelty. But, as I have already 
said, I have a book concerning the Yncas, so that what I 
have now written will suffice to enable those who may read 
it to understand who these Kings were, and their great 
power, and I will therefore return to my road. 


Of other villages and buildings between Carangue and the city of 
Quito : and of the robbeiy which the people of Otabalo are said 
to have committed on those of Carangue. 

In the former chapter I spoke of the great power and 
dominion which the Yncas, Kings of Cuzco, held over all 
Peru, and it will now be well to proceed on our journey. 

From the royal station of Carangue the famous road of 
the Yncas leads to the station of Otabalo, which is not, and 
never has been, very rich or important, but on each side 
of it there are large villages of Indians. Those on the 
west side are called Poritaco, CoUaguaso, the Huacas, and 
Cayambes ; and near the great river Maranon are the Quijos 
in a country covered with vast forests. It was into this 
region that Gonzalo Pizarro made his way when he went in 
search of the cinnamon. He was accompanied by many 
vaUant Spaniards, and they took with them great store of 
provisions, yet with all this they suffered terrible hardships 
and much hunger. In the fourth part of my work I will 
give a full account of this discovery, and I will relate how 
they came, by this way, to the great river, and how Captain 
Orellana came down it into the ocean, went to Spain, and 
was named governor of these countries by his Majesty. 


Towards tlie east are the farms of Cotocoyambe and the 
forests of Yumbo, besides many other districts^ some of 
which have not been thoroughly explored. 

The natives of Otabalo and Carangue are called Guama- 
raconas {Hiiayna ciina^). The name arose from what was 
said after the massacre ordered by Huana Ccapac in the 
lake, where most of the men were killed. Only boys were 
left in these villages, and the word means in our language 
*' Now you are boys.-'^ The natives of Carangue are very 
hostile to those of Otabalo for the following reason. When 
the news of the arrival of the Spaniards was spread abroad 
in the provinces of Quito, together with the imprisonment 
of Atahualpa, the people were filled with wonder and fear, 
and were particularly astonished at what they heard con- 
cerning the swiftness of the horses. Thus they awaited 
their arrival, thinking, that as they had overthrown the 
Ynca their Lord, they also would be subjugated. At this 
time the Lord of Cayambe had a great quantity of treasure 
in liis charge, and he of Otabalo observed that his neigh- 
bour was in great fear and perturbation for the safety of 
the precious treasure. The chief of Otabalo then called 
together his people, and, selecting those who were most 
agile and cunning, ordered them to dress in shirts and long 
mantles, and, with wands in their hands, to mount their 
best sheep and to climb up into the heights, so that they 
could be seen by those of Carangue. He, with most of his 
people and some women, in the mean time, fled to Carangue 
with great demonstrations of fear, saying that he was flying 
fi'om the fury of the Spaniards, who had reached his villages 
on their horses, and that he had left all his valuables behind, 
to escape from their cruelty. 

This news caused great terror, and it was received as 
certain, because the Indians, mounted on sheep, could be 
seen on the hills, so the people of Carangue began their 
' Huayna (a youth) and cu)ui (the plural) in Quichua. 


flight. Otabalo pretended to do the same^ but he and his 
people returned to Carangue, and stole all the treasure they 
could find, which was not httle. When those of Carangue 
returned, at the end of a few days, the deceit was dis- 

This strange robbery caused much agitation among the 
people of Carangue, and they had several debates among 
themselves ; but, as the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar, 
with the Spaniards, entered the provinces of Quito a few 
days after this occurrence, they dropped their quarrels in 
order to defend themselves. Thus the people of Otabalo 
retained what they had robbed, as is stated by many 
Indians of these parts, and the feud has not ceased amongst 

From the station of Otabalo the road leads to that of 
Cochesqui, and crosses a snowy pass, where it is so cold 
that there is some trouble in preserving life. From Co- 
chesqui. the road passes on to Guallabamba, which is four 
leagues from Quito, and here, the land being low and nearly 
on the equator, it is warm, but not so much so as to 
prevent it from being very populous, and it yields all things 
necessary for the support of man. We who have travelled 
in these parts know what there is on this equinoctial hne, 
which some ancient authors held to be an uninhabitable 
region. Under the line there is winter and summer, and 
the country is thickly inhabited, the crops which are sown 
yielding abundantly, especially wheat and barley. 

The road which unites these stations is crossed by several 
rivers, all with bridges, now much out of repair, and there 
are grand buildings and many other things to be seen. 

The distance from Guallabamba to Quito is four leagues, 
and there are several houses and farms along the roadside, 
where the Spaniards have their flocks until the plains of 
Anaquito is reached. Here, in 1545, during the month 
of January, the viceroy Blasco Nunez Vela arrived with a 


company of Spaniards, wlio followed him, in opposition to 
those wlio upheld the tyranny. Gonzalo Pizarro, who had 
seized the government of the country, and called himself 
governor under false colours, accompanied by most of the 
conquerors of Peru, marched out of the city of Quito and 
gave battle to the viceroy. The unfortunate viceroy, and 
many brave knights who were showing their loyalty and 
desii'e to serve his Majesty, were left dead on the field. 
Passing this plain of Anaquito, the city of Quito is presently 


Of the situation of the city of San Francisco del Quito, of its foundation, 
and who it was who founded it. 

The city of San Francisco del Quito is in the northern 
province of the kingdom of Peru. This province is nearly 
sixty leagues long from east to west, and twenty-five or 
thirty broad. The city is built amongst ancient buildings, 
which the Yncas, in the days of their power, had ordered to 
be raised in these parts. They were the work of the illus- 
trious and powerful Huayna Ccapac, and of the great Tupac, 
his father, and the natives called these royal and noble 
buildings Quito, whence the city took its name.^ The 
climate is healthy, and more cold than warm. There is 
little or no extent of view from the city, because it is situ- 
ated in a hollow surrounded by high mountains, and the 

> Before the country of Quito was conquered by the Yncas, it was 
governed by native kings called Scyris. The Ynca Tupac Yupanqui 
first extended his dominion licyond the frontiers of Quito, and Huayna 
Ccapac completed the conquest in 1487. Cacha, the last Scyri, was 
killed in battle, and Paccha, his only daughter, wa« married to Huayna 
Ccapac and became the mother of Atahualpa. 


level space is so confined that there will be some difficulty 
in building if it is desired to enlarge the city, but it could 
be made very strong if it was considered necessary. To the 
west are the cities of Puerto Viejo, and Guayaquil, which 
are about seventy and eighty leagues distant, and to the 
south are the cities of Loxa and San Miguel, the one 
one hundred and thirty and the other eighty leagues distant. 
To the east are the forests and the sources of the river 
which is called the fresh water sea,^ and to the north is the 
government of Popayan, which we have just passed. 

The city of Quito is under the equinoctial line, indeed 
only seven leagues distant from it. The surrounding country 
appears to be sterile, but in reality it is very fertile, and 
all kinds of cattle are bred in it plentifully, besides other 
provisions, corn and pulse, fruit and birds. The country is 
very pleasant, and particularly resembles Spain in its pas- 
tures and its climate, for the summer begins in April, and 
lasts until November, and, though it is cold, the land is no 
more injured by it than in Spain. 

In the plains they reap a great quantity of wheat and 
barley, so that there is a plentiful supply of provisions in 
the province, and in time it will yield all the fruits of our 
Spain, for even now they begin to grow some of them. 
The natives are in general more gentle and better disposed, 
and have fewer vices than any of those we have passed, and 
indeed than all the Indians of the greater part of Peru. 
This, at least, is what I myself have seen and understood, 
although others have formed a different opinion. But if 
they had seen and noted all these people as I have done, 
I hold it for certain that they would be of my way of 
thinking. They are a people of middle height, and very 
hard workers. They live in the same way as the people of 
the Kings Yncas, except that they are not so clever, seeing 
that they were conquered by them, and now Hve by the 
' The Amazon. 


rules which were ordered to be observed by the Yncas. 
For in ancient times they were^ hke their neighbours, 
badly dressed and without industry in the erection of 

There are many warm valleys where fruit trees and 
pulses are cultivated all the year round. There are also 
vineyards in these valleys, but as the cultivation has only 
lately commenced, I can only mention the hope that they 
will yield ; but they already have large orange and lime 
trees. The pulses of Spain yield abundantly, and all other 
provisions may be had that man requires. There is also a 
kind of spice, which we call cinnamon, brought from the 
forests to the eastward. It is a fruit, or kind of flower, 
which grows on the very large cinnamon trees, and there is 
nothing in Spain that can be compared with it, unless it be 
an acorn, but it is of a reddish colour inclined to black, 
and much larger and rounder. The taste is very pleasant, 
like that of real cinnamon, and it is only eaten after it has 
been pounded, for, if it is stewed like real cinnamon, it 
loses the strength of its flavour. It makes a warm cordial, 
as I can afiirm from experience, for the natives trade with 
it, and use it in their illnesses, particularly for pains in the 
bowels and stomach. They take it as a drink.- 

1 It seems to be generally allow^ed, even by Velasco, that all the rums 
in the kingdom of Quito date from the time of the Yncas, and that none 
can be refeiTed to the Scyris, or native kings. 

- It was partly in search of this spice, that Gonzalo Pizarro midertook 
his famous expedition into Quijos. The dried calyx alone is used as a 
spice, and its flavour resembles a mixture of cinnamon and cloves. The 
tree is a species of Lanracea. Ilerrera describes it as resembling an 
olive, with large pods. Velasco declares that the cinnamon of his country 
exceeds that of Ceylon in fragrance and sweetness. Garcilasso de la Vega 
says that tlie cinnamon tree of Quijos, a province of Quito, is very tall, 
with large leaves, and fruit growing in clusters like acorns. He adds 
tliat many grow wild in tlie forests, but that they are not so good as those 
which the Indians get from trees whicli they plant and cultivate for their 
own use, but not for the people of Peru, who care for nothing but their 
own condiment called nchu (aji^ pepper). [When 


They have great store of cotton, which they make into 
cloth for their dresses, and also use it for paying tribute. 
In the neighbourhood of the city of Quito there are many 
flocks of what we call sheep, but they are more like camels. 
Further on I shall treat of these animals, of their shape, 
and of the different sorts of these sheep of Peru, as we call 
them. There are also many deer, rabbits, partridges, 
pigeons, doves, and other game. Of provisions, besides 
maize, there are two other products which form the prin- 
cipal food of these Indians. One is called potatoe, and is 
a kind of earth nut, which, after it has been boiled, is as 
tender as a cooked chestnut, but it has no more skin than 
a truffle, and it grows under the earth in the same way. 
Tliis root produces a plant exactly like a poppy. The other 
food is very good, and is called quinoa.^ The leaf is like a 

"Wlien I was in the forests of Caravaya, in Southern Peru, I met with 
trees of great height wliich my guide called canela (cinnamon). The 
inner bark had a strong taste of that spice, and the natives use it to scent 
and flavoiu- their huarapu or fermented juice of the sugar cane. G. de la 
Vega^ ii, hb. iii, cap. 2 ; Velasco, i, p. 51 ; Markhani's Travels in Peru 
and India^ p. 264. 

1 The quinua {Chenopodium Quinua L.) is cultivated in the higher 
parts of the Andes of Quito and Peru, and is probably the hardiest cereal 
in the world, groAving at the gTeatest elevation above the level of the sea. 
Velasco mentions two kinds, the white and red. The former is a small 
white roimd grain, extensively raised on the cold lofty momitains, and 
yielding good food ; the latter, a very small roimd red grain, only eaten 
toasted. Garcilasso de la Vega mentions quinua as having been exten- 
sively cultivated by the ancient Peruvians, both for the sake of the grain, 
and for the leaves, which they use in soup. He sent some seeds of it to 
Spain in the year 1590, but they did not come up. In Quichua the 
cultivated plant is called quinua; the green leaves, lliccha ; the plant 
gro^\•ing w^Ud, azar ; a pudding made of quinua grains, pisque ; and 
boiled quinua grains, dried in the sun and gromid into a coarse powder 
for food on a journey, quispina. At harvest time the stalks are cut 
and tied up in bundles, and the grain is then beaten out with sticks. It 
is an insipid and not very nutritious gTain. 

UUoa gives the following account of the quinoa. It resembles a lentil 
in shape, but is much smaller and very white. When boiled it ojiens, and 


Moorish rush (amaranth?), and the plant grows almost to 
the height of a man, forming a very small seed, sometimes 
white and at others reddish. Of these seeds they make a 
drink, and also eat them cooked, as we do rice. 

There are many other seeds and roots, but the natives of 
Quito, seeing the value of wheat and barley, sow one or the 
other, and eat them, also making a drink from the barley.^ 
As I have said before, all these Indians are industrious, 
although, in some of the provinces, they have a different 
character, as I will relate when we pass through them, for 
the women are made to work in the fields, while their 
husbands sew and weave, and occupy themselves with 
female work. I have seen, in the villages near Cuzco, while 
the women are ploughing, the men spinning and preparing 
their arms and clothes, work suited to women and not 
to men. 

In the time of the Yncas there was a royal road made by 
the force and labour of men, which began at this city 
of Quito, and went as far as Cuzco, whence another of equal 
grandeur and magnitude led to the province of Chile, which 
is more than one thousand two hundred leagues from 
Quito. On these roads there were pleasant and beautiful 
lodgings and palaces every three or four leagues, very richly 
adorned* These roads may be compared to that which the 
Romans made in Spain, and which we call the silver road. 

out of it comes a spiral fibre, which appears Hke a small worm, but whiter 
than the husk of the grain. It is an annual plant, being sown every year. 
The stem is about three or four feet in height, and has a large pointed 
leaf. The flower is of a deep red, and five or six inches long, and in it 
are contained the grains or seeds. Tlie quinoa is eaten boiled hke rice, 
and has a very pleasant taste. It is used in external apphcations, ground 
and boiled to a proper consistency, and applied to the part affected, from 
whicli it soon extracts all corrupt humoiu-s occasioned by a contusion. 
Ulloa's Voyage^ i, p. 290. 

' Barley is cultivated successfully in Teru, at heights from 7000 to 
l;l,2()0 feet above tlie sea. It was introduced l)y the SiKxniards. Von 
TschmU. p. 177. 


I have stopped longer to descnbe the noteworthy things 
of Quito than at any of the other cities we have left behind, 
and the reason is that this city is the principal place in this 
part of Peru, and has always been much esteemed. To 
conclude with it, I must add that it was founded and settled 
by captain Sebastian Belalcazar (who was afterwards gover- 
nor and Adelantado of the province of Popayan) in the 
name of the Emperor, Don Carlos our lord, the Adelantado 
Don Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general 
of the kingdoms of Peru and pro^^nces of New Castille, 
in the year of the nati\aty of our Redeemer Jesus Christ 


Concerning the \'illages beyond Quito as far as the royal palaces of 
Tmnebamba, and of some customs of the natives. 

The distance from the city of Quito to the palaces of Tume- 
bamba is fifty-three leagues. Soon after leaving the city 
there is a village called Pansaleo, the natives of which differ 
in some things from their neighbours, especially in the 
fillets or bands round their heads ; for by these bands the 
descent of the Indians is known, and the provinces of which 
they are natives.^ 

These and all the other natives of the kingdom, over a 
space of more than one thousand two hundred leagues, 
speak the general language of the Yncas, being that which 

1 The different tribes of the empire of the Yncas were distinguished by 
their head-dresses, the people of each pro^^nce wearing one of a distinct 
coloiu-. This was not a custom introduced by the Yncas, but, being the 
usage of the different tribes, those sovereigns decreed that it should be con- 
tinued, in order that the tribes might not be confounded one with another, 
when serving in the ai-my or at Cuzco. G. de la Vega, i, lib. vii, cap. 9. 



is used in Cuzco. They generally speak this language, 
because such is the order of the Yncas, and it was a law 
throughout the kingdom that this language should be used. 
Fathers were punished if they neglected to teach it to their 
sons in their childhood, yet, notwithstanding that they 
speak the language of Cuzco, all these tribes had a language 
of their own which was spoken by their ancestors. Thus, 
those of Pansaleo had a different language from those of 
Carangue and Otabalo. The people of Pansaleo are dressed 
in shirts without sleeves or collars, with openings at the 
sides for their arms, and above for their heads. They also 
have large mantles of wool or cotton. The mantles of the 
chiefs were very fine, and were dyed with many bright 
colours. For shoes they used certain usutas, made from a 
root or herb called Gahuya,^ which forms great leaves, out of 
which very useful white fibres are drawn, like hemp. Of these 
they make their usidas, or sandals, which serve as shoes, 
and they wear the ends of these fibres as a covering for their 
heads. Some of the women wear the very graceful dress 
of those of Cuzco, with a long mantle extending from the 
neck to the feet, having holes for the arms. Round the 
waist they fasten a very broad and graceful belt called 
cJiumpi, which tightens and secures the mantle. Over this 
they wear another fine mantle falling from the shoulders, 
and coming down so as to cover the feet, called Ih'rlla. To 
secure their mantles they wear pins of gold and silver, 
rather broad at one end, called tojm. On the head they 
Avcar a very graceful band, which they call unclia, and the 
Ksutas, or sandals, complete their attire. In short, the 
dress of the ladies of Cuzco is the most graceful and rich 
that has been seen up to this time in all the Indies." They 

' Some kind of aloe. 

- All these names of pai-ts of tlie dress are correct (Juiclma words. 
The dress here described by Cieza de Leon is exactly the same as thos(> 
represented in pictures still preserved at Cuzco, which arc almost contem- 
poraneous with the conquest. 


arc very careful in combing out their liair, and wear it very 
long. In anotlier place I will treat more fully of tliis dress 
of tlie Pallas, or ladies of Cuzco. 

Betw^een this village of Pansaleo and the city of Quito 
there are some scattered villages here and there among the 
hills. To the westward are the valleys of Uchillo and 
Langazi, where the land^ which is very fertile, yields many 
of those products concerning which I wrote in the chap- 
ter on the foundation of Quito. The inhabitants are not 
hostile to each other, nor do they eat human flesh, and 
they are not so wicked as some of those in the pro-\nnces 
which we have passed. Formerly they adored many idols, 
according to their own report, but after they were con- 
quered by the Kings Yncas, they offered their sacrifices to 
the sun, and worshipped it as a god. 

Here a road leads to the forests of Yumbo, where the 
natives are not so serviceable nor so docile as those of Quito, 
but, on the contrary, proud and vicious. They live in a 
rugged and inaccessible district, which is, however, very 
rich by reason of the warmth and fertility. These people 
also worship the sun, and resemble their neighbours in 
their habits and customs, for, hke them, they were sub- 
jugated by the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui and his son 
Huayna Ccapac. 

Auother road leads towards the rising of the sun, where 
there is a province called Quijos, inhabited by Indians with 
the same manners and customs. 

Three leagues beyond Pansaleo are the buildings and 
village of Mulahalo,^ which though now small from the 

1 " The stone made use of for the house of Huayna Ccapac, mentioned 
by Cieza de Leon imder the name of 3/ulahalo, is a rock of volcanic 
origin, a burnt and spongy porphyry -n-ith basaltic basis. It was probably 
ejected by the mouth of the volcano of Cotopaxi. As this monmnent 
appears to have been constructed in the beginning of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, the materials employed in it prove that it is a mistake to consider 
as the first eruption of Cotopaxi that which took place in 15:i;^>. when 


desertion of its inhabitants, was, in ancient times, a station 
wliere there were lodgings for the Yncas and their captains 
when they travelled on this road, and great store of pro- 
visions for the troops. On the right hand of the \-illage of 
Mulahalo there is a fiery mouth, or volcano, of which the 
Indians say that, in former times, it threw out great quan- 
tities of stones and cinders, insomuch that many villages 
were destroyed by them. Some pretend that, before the 
irruption, infernal visions were seen, and trembhng voices 
heard. "What these Indians say of the volcano appears to 
be certainly true, for at the time Don Pedro de Alvarado 
(formerly governor of the province of Guatemala) entered 
Peru -with his armed force by way of these provinces of 
Quito, it rained cinders for several days, as several Spaniards 
assert who came with Alvarado. They must have burst 
from some fieiy mouth, as there are many in these moun- 
tains which would yield much sulphur. 

A little beyond Mulahalo are the village and great build- 
ings called Llacta-cunga, which were as important as those 
of Quito. ^ The buildings, though now in ruins, give signs 

Sebastian de Belalcazar made the conquest of the kingdom of Quito." 
Humboldt's Researches^ i, p. 6. 

^ These are the ruins called CaUo, near Latacunga (Llacta-cunga). 
In Ulloa's time they served as a house for the Augustine monks at Quito. 
As Humboldt says that UUoa's description of Callo is very inaccurate, it 
will be preferable to refer to the account given of the ruins by the great 
Prussian traveller. 

The Yncas Tupas Yupanqui and Huayna Ccapac, -when they had com- 
pleted the conquest of Quito, caused magnificent roads to be formed, and 
tamp us (inns), storehouses, and magazines to be built for the reception of 
the sovereign and his armies. Travellers have called the ruins of these 
buildings palaces. Tlie most celebrated of these ruins are those near 
Latacunga, ten leagues soutli of Quito, and tlu-ee leagues from tlie volcano 
of Cotopaxi. The edifice forms a square, each side of whicli is thirty- 
five yards long. Four great outer doors are still disting-uishable, and 
eight apartments, three of which are in good preservation. The walls 
are nearly five yards and a half liigh, and a yard thick. The doors are 
similar to those in the Egyptian temples, and there are eighteen niches in 


<of their former grandeur, aud in some of the walls the 
niches may be seen where the golden sheep and other 
valuable things which they carved, were kept. The build- 
ing set apart for the Kings Yncas, and the temple of the 
sun, where they performed their sacrifices and superstitions, 
were especially remarkable for these precious things. There 
were also many virgins here, dedicated to the service of 
the temple, whom they called Mama-cuna. In this village 
the Lords Yncas placed a superintendent, who had charge 
of the collection of tribute in the neighbouring provinces, 
and stored it here, where there were also a great number of 
Mitimaes} The Yncas, considering that the centre of their 
dominion was the city of Cuzco, whence they promulgated 
laws, and sent forth their captains to war, and that Quito 
was six hundred leagues distant, while the road to Chile 
was still longer; and considering, also, that all this vast 
extent of country was peopled by barbarous, and some of 
them very warlike tribes, they adopted the following system 
in order to keep the empire in greater security. It was 
first commenced in the time of King Ynca Yupanqui, father 
of the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, and grandfather of 
Huayna Ccapac. 

As soon as a province was conquered, ten or twelve thou- 
sand men were ordered to go there with their wives, but 
they were always sent to a country where the climate re- 
sembled that from wliich they came. If they were natives 

each apartment, distributed with the greatest symmetry. Humboldt's 

^ Cieza de Leon gives the best account of these Mitimaes or Colonists. 
Indeed, Garcilasso de la Vega quotes from lum. (i, hb. vii, cap. 1 ; and 
i, Ub. iii, cap. 19.) It is curious that the descendants of Mitimaes on the 
coast of Peru still retain the tradition concerning the villages in the 
Andes, whence their ancestors were transported. Thus the Indians of 
Arequipa are descended from Mitimaes who were sent from a village 
called Cavanilla, near Puno ; those of iSIoquegua, from Mitimaes who 
were natives of Acora and Have, on the shores of I^ake Titicaca : and 
those of Tacna, from natives of Juli and Pisacoma, near the same lake. 


of a cold province, they were sent to a cold one ; and if tliey 
came from a warm province, they went to a warm one. 
These people were called Mitimaes,^ which means Indians 
who have come from one country and gone to another. 
They received grants of land on which to work, and sites 
on which to build their houses. The Yncas decreed that 
these Mitimacs should always obey the orders of the gover- 
nors and captains who were placed over them, so that if the 
natives rebelled, the Mitimaes, who owed obedience to their 
captains, would punish them and force them into the ser- 
vice of the Yncas ; consequently, if there was any disturb- 
ance among the Mitimaes themselves, they were attacked 
by the natives. By this policy these Lords Yncas kept 
their empire safe and free from rebellion ; and the provinces 
were well supplied with provisions, for most of the in- 
habitants of each were natives of some other country. 
They also adopted another plan, in order that they might 
not be detested by the natives. They never deprived the 
native caciques of their inheritance, and if any one of 
them was so guilty as to merit deprivation, the vacant 
office was given to his sons or brothers, and all men were 
ordered to obey them. In my book of the Yncas I treat 
more fully of this system of Mitimaes than I am able to do 
here. To return to what I was saying, these Indians, 
called Mitimaes, in the station of Llacta-cunga, were ordered 
to obey the officer appointed by the Ynca. Around the 
buildings were the farms and villages of the chiefs and 
officers, which were well supplied with provisions. 

When the last battle was fought in Peru (which was in 
the valley of Xaquixaguana, where Gonzalo Pizarro was put 

' I am doubtful about the etymology of this word, but inchne to 
believe that it is derived from the Quichua word Mita (tune or turn), 
whence come other cognate words. From labourers or soldiers taking 
their turn at work, it came to mean service generally — hence Mitta-mna 
(a man required to perform forced service) and Mitta-chanacuy (a law 
of the Yncas regulating the division of laboiu-). 


to death) we set out from the government of Popayan with 
the Adelantado Don Sebastian de Belalcazar^ and little less 
than two hundred Spaniards^ to take the side of his Majesty 
against the tyrants, and some of us arrived at this village, 
for we did not all march along the same road, lest there 
should be difficulty in obtaining food and other necessaries. 
In one direction there were plenty of rabbits, in another 
pigs, in another fowls, and so on with sheep and lambs ; and 
thus all were provided for. 

The natives of this village all go about dressed in shirts 
and mantles, each one as richly and gallantly adorned as his 
means will allow. The women also go dressed in the same 
way as those of Mulahalo, and they speak almost the same 
language. All their houses are of stone, roofed with 
straw, some being large, and others small, according to 
the rank and wealth of the occupants. The captains and 
lords have many women, but there is one principal and 
legitimate wife, through whom the lordship is inherited. 
They worship the sun, and when the chiefs die, they make 
large tombs in the mountains and plains, where they bury 
his gold and silver jewels, arms, clothes, and live women 
(not the ugliest) with the body, together with plenty of 
provisions. This custom of thus burying the dead is adopted 
throughout the greater part of the Indies by advice of the 
devil, who gives the people to understand that they will 
thus be well provided for when they arrive in the new 
country. They make great lamentations over their dead, 
and the women who are not killed, with all the servants, are 
shorn of their hair, and remain for many days in constant 
mourning. After weeping through all the day and night 
in which the death took place, they still continue to weep 
for a whole year. These Indians eat early in the morning, 
and they eat on the ground without troubling themselves 
much about cloths or napkins. After they have eaten their 
maize, with meat or fish, they pass all the rest of the day 


in drinking chlcha,^ or wine made from maize, always hold- 
ing tlie cup in their hands. They ai*e very careful and 
orderly in their festive songs, the men and women holding 
hands, and going round to the sound of a drum. They 
recount former events in their songs and ditties, but they 
always go on drinking until they are very drunk. [Here 
follow sentences unfii for translation.'] " 

They beheve in the immortality of the soul, and know 
that there has been a Creator of all things in the world, so 
that in contemplating the grandeur of the heavens, the 
movements of the sun and moon, and other marvels, they 
understand that there was a Creator of them all, but, 
blinded and deceived by the devil, they think that the same 
devil has power over all things. Some, however, seeing 
his villainy, and that he never tells the truth, abhor him, 
and they obey him more from fear than because they believe 
in his divinity. They hold the sun in great reverence, and 
believe it to be a god. The priests are much esteemed by 
the people. 

I shall conclude this chapter by saying that these people 
of Llacta-cunga use lances of palm wood, darts, and slings 
for fighting. The women are very amorous, and some of 
them are beautiful. There are still many Mitimacs here, 
descended from those who came here when the Yncas ruled 
over these provinces. 

1 A fermented liquor made from maize, called acca in the Quichua 
language, and universally drunk by the Indians, in all parts of Peru. 

■ " Y como estan sin sentido, algunos toman las mugeres que (juieren, 
y llevadas a alrjuna casa, usan con ellas sus luxurias, sin tenerlo por 
cosafea; ponjue ni entienden el don que esta dehaxo de la verguen^a, ni 
miran mucho en la honra, ni tienen mucha cuenta con el mundo." 



Of the other villages between Llacta-cunga and Riobaniba ; and of what 
passed between the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado and tlie 
JNIai^ial Don Diego de Ahnagro. 

After travelling for some distance beyond Llacta-cunga, 
along the royal road wliich leads to the great city of Cuzco, 
the buildings of Muliambato are reached, concerning which 
I have nothing more to say than that they are inhabited by 
Indians of the same nation and customs as those of Llacta- 
cunga. There were ordinary buildings at this station, where 
stores were deposited according to the orders of the officer 
delegated by the Ynca, who obeyed the principal superin- 
tendent at Llacta-cunga. The chiefs looked to large 
stations, such as Quito, Tumebamba, Caxamarca, Xauxa, 
Vilcas, or Paria, and others of the same rank for orders. 
These stations were like the seat of a bishopric, or the 
capital of a kingdom, which gave the tone to all the parts, 
and whence came the officers who administered justice, or 
formed armies in case of war or insurrection. Nevertheless 
affairs of great difficulty or importance were not decided 
upon without a reference to the Kings Yncas. The trans- 
mission of these references was arranged with such skill 
and order, that the post went from Quito to Cuzco in eight 
days. Every half-league along the road there was a small 
house, where there were always two Indians with their 
wives. One of these ran with the news that had to be 
transmitted, and, before reaching the next house, he called 
it out to the other runner, who at once set off running the 
other half-leao-ue, and this is done with such swiftness that 
neither mules nor horses could go over such rocky ground 
in a shorter time.^ But, as in the book of the Kings Yncas 

1 This accoimt of the great Ynca road from Quito to Cuzco is quoted at 
length by Garcilasso de la Vega (i, Ub. ix, cap. 13). 

Zai'ate, the Accountant, was equally impressed with the grandeur of 


(which is the one that^ with the help of God, will appear 
after this) I treat fully of these posts^ I will not say more 
here, my present intention being merely to make things 
clear to the readers' understanding. 

From Muliambato the road leads to the river called 
Ambato, where there are also buildings which sei-ved the 
same purpose as those already described. Three leagues 
from this place are the splendid buildings of Mocha, which 
are so numerous and so grand, that I was astonished at the 
sight of them ; but, now that the Eangs Yncas have lost 
their power, all these palaces and buildings, with other 
grand works of theirs, have fallen into ruin, so that the 
vestiges of some of these edifices alone remain. As they are 
built of very beautiful stone, and as the masonry is excel- 
lent, they will endure for ages as memorials, without being 
entirely destroyed. 

this work. He says that " the road was made over the mountains for a 
distance of five hundred leagues. It was broad and level, rocks wore 
broken up and levelled where it was necessary, and ravines were filled up. 
"When the road was finished it was so level that carts might have passed 
along it. The difficulty of this road will be understood when it is con- 
sidered how great the cost and labour has been in levelling two leagues of 
hilly country in Spain, between Espinar de Segovia and Guadarramar, 
which has never yet been completely done, although it is the route by 
which the Kings of Castille continually pass, mth their households and 
their court, every time they go to or come from Andalusia." Zarate was 
Comptroller of Accounts for Castille from 1528 to 1543, and in 1544 he 
went to Peru to hold the same office. He was an educated man and an eye- 
witness, so that liis testimony is valuable. Historia del Peru^ Ub. i, cap. 10. 
Velasco, who was a native of Riobamba, near Quito, measured the 
breadth of the great road of the Yncas, and found it to be about six 
yards in one place, and seven in another. He says that the parts cut 
through the living rock were covered with a cement to make the siu-facc 
smooth, while the loose places were paved with stones and covered with 
the same cement, in which he observed very small stones, not mucli larger 
than grains of sand. To cross ravines the road was raised with gi-eat 
pieces of rock united together by cement ; and he adds that this cement 
was so strong that, where torrents had worked their way tlu-ough the 
emiiankments, the road still spanned the ravines in the form of bridges. 
llUt. ,k (^uito, i, p. 5!t. 


Round Mocha tliorc arc several villages where the in- 
habitants and their women all go dressed. Their customs 
and language are the same as those of the Indians we have 
left behind. 

To the westward are the villages of Indians called Sichos, 
and to the east are the Pillaros. All these have great 
store of provisions^ because their land is veiy fertile^ and 
flocks of deer, some sheep of the kind called Peruvian, 
many rabbits, partridges, doves, and other game. Besides 
these, the Spaniards have large herds of cattle in all the 
plains and villages, and they breed extensively by reason of 
the excellent pasture. There are also goats, the country 
being well suited for them ; and better swine than in any 
other part of the Indies, and they make as good ham and 
bacon as in the Sierra Morena. 

Leaving Mocha, the great buildings of Eiobamba are 
reached, which are not less worthy to be seen than those of 
Mocha. They are in the province of the Puruaes, in the 
midst of beautiful plains, very similar to those of Spain in 
climate, in the flowers and grasses, and in other things, as 
every one knows who has travelled over them. 

For some days the city of Quito was established at 
Riobamba, before it was removed to its present site. But 
the buildings at Riobamba are more memorable for another 
event. The Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, formerly 
governor of the province of Guatemala, which borders on 
the great kingdom of New Spain, set out with a fleet 
of ships fiUed with many knights (concerning whom I shall 
treat fully in the third part of this work), and landed on the 
coast, where the fame of Quito reached the Spaniards. 
They marched inland by difiicult and rugged forests, where 
they sufiered from hunger and other hardships. I cannot and 
ought not to pass on without saying something concerning 
the evils and miseries which these Spaniards, and all others, 
suffered in the discovery of these Indies, because I hold it 


for very certain that no nation that has ever been in the 
world has passed through so much. It is a thing well 
worthy of note that, in less than sixty years, a navigation 
so long, and a land so vast and so full of different tribes 
should have been discovered, the way leading through 
dense and dismal forests, and over deserts without roads ; 
and that these countries should have been conquered, and 
more than two hundred cities founded in them. Surely 
those who have done this deserve great praise and everlast- 
ing fame, far more than my memory knows how to imagine, 
nor my weak hand to write. One thing is very certain, that 
the followers of Alvarado suffered so much on this road 
from hunger and fatigue, that many of them cast aside gold 
and precious emeralds, from want of strength to carry them. 
As soon as the arrival of the Adelantado Don Pedro de 
Alvarado was known in Cuzco, through evidence brought 
by Gabriel de Rojas,^ the governor, Don Francisco Pizarro, 
although he was occupied in peopling that city with Chris- 
tians, set out to take possession of the coasts of the South 
Sea ; while he ordered his companion, the marshal Don 
Diego de Almago, to march in all haste to the province 
of Quito, place himself at the head of the troops then under 
the orders of his lieutenant, the captain Sebastian de 
Belalcazar, and take every necessary precaution. By hasty 
marches the diligent marshal arrived in the province of 

^ This captain was a native of Estremadiu-a and a follower of Pizarro. 
lie was distinguished for his valour at the defence of Cuzco, when that 
city was besieged by the Indians ; but seems subsequently to have gone 
over to the party of Ahnagro, who left him as his governor of Cuzco, 
when he marched towards Lima after his return from Chile. He had 
charge of Gonzalo Pizarro and other prisoners, who broke loose and 
forced Rojas to accompany them. On arriving at the camp of Pizarro 
near Lima, the marquis, notwithstanding his desertion, gave Rojas a large 
estate in Charcas. lu the war between Gonzalo Pizarro and Gasca, he 
went over to the latter and was given command of liis artillery. Imme- 
diately after the fall of Gonzalo he was sent as treasurer to Charcas, 
where he died. 


Quito, and took command of the troops that he found 
there, speaking sharply to the captain Bclalcazar for having 
left Tangaraca without orders from the governor. 

The Adelautado Don Pedro de Alvarado, accompanied by- 
Don Diego de Alvarado, Gomez de Alvarado, Alonzo de 
Alvarado, who is now marshal of Peru/ the captain Gar- 
cilasso de la Vega/ Juan de Saavedra/ and other knights of 

1 These Cavalleros played a very conspicuous part in the conquests and 
civil wars of Peru. For an account of Alonzo de Alvarado, see my Life of 
Enriquez de Guzman^ p. 109 {jiote^\ of Diego de Alvarado, Ihid.^ p. 124 

^ Garcilasso de la Vega was born, of noble parentage, in the city of 
Badajos, in Estremadm-a. His great-grandfather was Gomez Suarez 
de Figueroa, the first Count of Feria, by Elvira Lasso de la Vega. This 
lady was a sister of the famous Marquis of Santillana, the charming poet, 
and founder of the great family of Mendoza. She was a maternal grand- 
daughter of that Garcilasso who in 1372 received the surname of " de la 
Vega," in memory of a famous duel fought with a Moorish giant before 
the walls of Granada : — 

" Garcilasso de la Vega 
They the youth thenceforward call, 

For his duel in the Vega 
Of Granada chanced to fall." 
The lady's paternal grandfather was Don Diego de Mendoza, the knight 
who, in the battle of Aljubarrota with the Portuguese in 1385, saved the 
life of King John I by giving him his horse, when his own was killed 
under him, a loyal act which is commemorated in an old ballad : — 
" Si el cavallo vos han muerto 
Subid Rey en mi cavallo." 
The subject of this note was a second cousin twice removed of Garcilasso 
de la Vega the poet, whose poems were published with those of his friend 
Boscan in 1544. 

So much for GarcUasso's descent, which was sufficiently noble and dis- 
tinguished. He was a young man of twenty-five years of age, tall, 
handsome, polished, generous, and well practised in the use of arms, when 
in 1531 he set out for the New World as a captain of infantry in com- 
pany with Alonzo de Alvarado, who was returning to resume his govern- 
ment of Guatemala. That famous chief, on hearing of the riches of Peru. 
set out with a large fleet from Nicaragua, and landed in the bay of 
Caragues in ^larch 1534. Garcilasso de la Vega accompanied him, and 
shared in all the terrible hardships and sufferings of the subsequent march 


high rank, arrived in the neighbourliood of the camp of the 

to Riobamba. After the convention -svith Almagro, and the dispersion 
of Alvarado's forces, Garcilasso was sent to complete the conquest of the 
country roimd the port of Buenaventura. He and his small band of fol- 
lowers forced their way for many days through dense uninhabited forests, 
endiu'ing almost incredible hardshijjs, and finding notliing to repay their 
labours. He displayed much constancy and endm-ance and persevered 
during a whole year, but, having lost eighty of his men from hunger and 
fever, he was at last obliged to retreat. He was nearly drowned in cross- 
ing the river Quiximies, and after many other strange adventures and 
narrow escapes, he reached the Spanish settlement of Puerto Viejo, and 
went thence to Lima, where Pizarro was closely besieged by the insur- 
gent Indians. He then marched to the rehef of Cuzco, and afterwards 
accompanied Gonzalo Pizarro in his expedition to the Collao and Charcas. 
On the arrival of Vaca de Castro in Peru, Garcilasso de la Vega joined 
him, and was wounded in the battle of Chupas. "\Mien Gonzalo Pizarro 
rose in rebeUion against the viceroy Blasco Nuuez de Vela, Garcilasso 
and several other loyal knights fled from Cuzco to Arequipa, and thence 
up by the deserts of the coast to Lima, in order to share the fortimes of 
the viceroy. But when they arrived at Lima, that ill-fated and wrong- 
headed knight was gone, and the whole covmtry was in favour of Gonzalo. 
The fugitives, therefore, concealed themselves as best they could. Gar- 
cilasso was lodged in the house of a friend, and afterwards hid himself in 
the convent of San Francisco. Tlu-ough the intercession of friends Gonzalo 
Pizarro granted him a pardon, but detained him as a prisoner mitil 
he escaped to the army of Gasca on the morning of the battle of Xaquixa- 
guana, galloping across the space between the two camps at early down, 
on his good horse Salinillas. He afterwards resided at his house in 
Cuzco mitil the rebellion of Giron broke out in 1554, when he once more 
showed his loyalty by escaping in the night, and joining the royal camp. 
After the fall of Giron, Garcilasso de la Vega was apjjointed corregidor 
and governor of Cuzco, where he appears to have devoted himseK to the 
duties of his office, and, amongst other good deeds, restored the aqueduct 
which brought a supply of water from the lake of Cliinchiru for a dis- 
tance of two leagues, to ii-rigate the valley of Cuzco. His house was a 
centre of hospitality and kindness, where the conquerors fought their 
battles over again in the evenings, while Garcilasso s wife, the Ynca 
princess, and her friends dispensed their nmnerous charities. Both he 
and his wife were engaged in acts of benevolence, and in collecting sub- 
scriptions for chai-itable purposes during the time that he held office. It 
is sjiid that in one night they raised 34,500 ducats for a hospital for 
Intlians. \Micn Garcilasso wjis relieved of his charge, the Juez de Resi- 
dencia, who came to review liis administration, lionourably acquitted liim 


marshal Don Diego de Almagro. Tlioro was soino danger 
of a rupture between them ; but at last, by the intervention 
of the licentiate Caldera and other prudent persons, it was 
agreed that the Adelantado should leave the fleet of ships 
he had brought, with the arms and troops, in Peru, and that, 
in consideration of the expenses of the expedition, he should 
receive one hundred thousand castellanos} This capitula- 

of the charges which were brought against him, and he retired into 
private life. He died at Cuzco in the year 1559, after a long illness. 

Garcilasso de la Vega was married to a fmsta or Ynca princess, who 
was baptised under the name of Isabella in 1539. She was a daughter of 
Hualpa Tupac, a younger brother of the gi-eat Ynca Iluayna Ccapac. 
By this lady he had a son, the well known historian, who was born at 
Cuzco in 1540. After his father's death the young Garcilasso Ynca de 
la Vega, who had received his early education at a school in Cuzco, went 
to Spain. This was in 1560, when he was just twenty years of age. He 
fought against the rebel Moriscos under the banner of Don John of 
Austria, and afterwards setthng at Cordova, devoted himself to literary 
pursuits. He wrote a history of the conquest of Florida, and the two 
parts of his Commentarios Rectles were published in 1609 and 1616. An 
excellent second edition appeared at IMadrid in 1722. His memory was 
well stored with the recollections of his youth, when he had learnt the 
history of the Yncas from his mother's relations, and of the conquest 
from his father's old companions in arms. He also quotes largely from 
Cieza de Leon, Gomara, Zarate, Fernandez, and Acosta, as well as from 
the manuscript of the missionary Bias Valera, a most important work 
which was destroyed when Lord Essex sacked the city of Cadiz. No man, 
therefore, could be better qualified to write a history of the early civilisa- 
tion of the Yncas, and of the conquest of Peru by the Spaniards. He 
has been invaluable to me in explaining and illustrating the text of Cieza 
de Leon ; and in gratitude I have therefore devoted a long note to an 
account of his father. The Ynca Garcilasso died in 1616 at the ad- 
vanced age of seventy-six, and was buried at Cordova. 

^ Juan de Saavedra was a native of Se\'ille. He afterwards accompanied 
Almagro in liis expedition into Chile, and, when Hernando Pizarro was 
in liis commander's power, he persuaded the old marshal not to put his 
enemy to death. In the battle of Chupas he fought against the younger 
Almagro. When Gonzalo Pizarro and his unscrupulous old lieutenant 
Carbajal entered Lima and wreaked vengeance on those who had opposed 
them, Juan de Saavedra, with two other knights, were hung under cir- 
cumstances of great barbarity. 

' A castellano^ in those days, was worth about £2 : 12 of our money; 
so that Alvarado was bought off by Pizarro for the sum of £260,000. 


tion having been agreed to, the marshal took the troops 
into his service, and the Adelantado proceeded to the City 
of the Kings, where the governor Don Francisco Pizarro 
received him with the distinction that was due to so 
valorous a captain as Don Pedro de Alvarado. He received 
the one hundred thousand casteUanos, and returned to his 
government of Guatemala. The agreement and capitulation 
above-mentioned was made and agreed to in the buildings 
of Riobamba, concerning which I am now treating. It was 
also here that the captain Belalcazar, who was aftenvards 
governor of the province of Popayan, fought a battle with 
the Indians, in which, after many of them had been killed, 
the victory remained with the Christians. 


AMiich treats of what there is to be said concerning the other Lidian 
villages as far as the buildings of Tumebamba. 

These buildings of Riobamba, as I have already said, are in 
the province of the Puruaes, which is one of the best and 
most populous within the jurisdiction of the city of Quito. 
The men go dressed, as well as the women. They have 
the same customs as their neighbours, but are distinguished 
by the band round their heads. They all wear very long 
hair, and plait it in very small tails. The women do the 
same. They worship the sun, and those who are selected 
as most fit for such a business, converse with the devil. 
They have other rites and abuses, the same as those of the 
Yncas who conquered them. When a chief dies they dig a 
deep square tomb, into Avhich they put the body, with the 
anns and other effects of the deceased. Some of these 
tombs arc made witliin tlie houses of the inhabitants. Thcv 


have tlie same customs as the other natives of these parts ; 
that is to say, they bury the most beautiful of the women 
of the deceased with tlic body. I have been told by the 
Indians that this is done because some among them, who are 
looked upon as men of credit (God permitting that, for their 
sins and idolatries they may at times be deceived by the 
illusions of the devil) , have seen, or thought they saw, those 
who had long been dead walking, adorned with the things 
that were buried with them, and accompanied by their 
wives who had been buried alive. Seeing this, they con- 
cluded that where the souls went, women and gold should 
also be sent, and so they do as I have described. The 
reason why the son of the sister inherits, and not the son of 
the brother, I will relate hereafter. 

There are many villages in this province of the Puruaes, 
which I shall not further allude to, in order to avoid pro- 
lixity. To the east of Riobamba there are other villages in 
the forests near the sources of the river Maraiion, and the 
mountain called Tinguragua, round which there are also 
many villages. The inhabitants have the same customs as 
all the others, they wear clothing, and their houses are 
built of stone. They wei-e conquered by the Kings Yncas, 
and their captains speak the general language of Cuzco, 
although they have their own tongue as well. To the west- 
ward there is a snowy region thinly inhabited, called Urco- 
laso. Near this land a road leads to the city of Santiago, 
which is called Guayaquil. 

Leaving Riobamba, some other buildings are reached, 
called Cayambe. All this country is bare and very cold. 
Beyond Cayambe are the tampvs, or lodgings of Teocaxas, 
situated on a large and bitterly cold plain, where the Indian 
natives fought the battle with the captain Sebastian de 
Belalcazar, which is called Teocaxas. Although it lasted 
all day, and was very obstinately contested, neither party 
obtained the victory. 



Three leagues further on are the important buildings 
called Tiquisambi, -which have the forests of Guayaquil on 
the rights and on the left Pomallata, Quizna, Macas, and 
other regions as far as the gi"eat river. The road then 
descends to the buildings of Chanchan, where, the country 
being warm, it is called by the natives Yunca, which means 
a warm land. There being no snow nor cold, the trees 
grow abundantly, besides other things which are not to be 
had in cold countries. For this reason all those who live 
in warm and genial countries are called Yiincas j they have 
this name now, and will never lose it while they exist, 
although ages should pass away. The distance between these 
buildings and the sumptuous royal edifices of Tumebamba 
is nearly twenty leagues, the whole intervening country 
being scattered over with depots and other buildings, at 
intervals of two or three or four leagues. Amongst these 
there are two principal stations, one called Canaribamba 
and the other Hatuncanari,^ whence the natives and their 
province took the name of Cafiaris, as they are now called. 
Right and left of the road there are numerous villages and 
provinces, which I shall not further mention, because the 
natives, having been conquered by the Kings Yncas, have 
the same customs as all the rest, speak the general langviage 
of Cuzco, and wear clothes, both men and women. In the 
order of their marriages, rules of inheritance, and custom of 
burying food, arms, and live women with their dead, they 
are also the same as their neighbours. They all believe the 
sun to bo god, but that there was also a Creator of all 
things, whom, in the language of Cuzco, they call Huira- 

^ Ulloa describes the ruins at Hatmi-cauari as the largest and best built 
in the province of Quito. In the rear the building terminates in a high 
thick wall on the slope of a mountain. In the centre there is an oval 
tower containing two chambers. The walls are full of niches ynth stone 
l)egs in them. 'J'he outer walls are very thick, with ramparts round the 
inner sides. 


cncha} Although they now have this belief, they formerly 
worshipped trees, stones, and the moon, being prompted 
by the devil, our enemy, with whom some of them con- 
verse, and they obey him in many things. In our time, the 
wrath of God having been raised, the sacred evangel will be 
preached, and the light of faith spread abroad, so that they 
will abhor the devil. Already in many places where he 
was esteemed and venerated, he is now detested, and the 
temples of the accursed idols are destroyed, insomuch that 
there is no sign of an image, and many Indians have 
become Christians. There are now few villages in Peru 
without a friar or clergyman who teaches the people ; and, 
in order that the Indians may more readily be made to 
understand their errors, and induced to embrace our holy 
religion, a grammar has been made, by which to speak their 
language, so that the priests and Indians may understand 
each other. The reverend father Don Domingo de Santo 
Tomas has laboured much in this work.^ 

All along the road there are rivers, some small others 
larger, and all with excellent water. Over some there are 
bridges to pass from one side to the other. In former 
times, before the Spaniards gained this kingdom, there were 
great quantities of sheep in these mountains of the kind 
peculiar to this country, and a still greater number of 
huanacos and vicunas. But the Spaniards have slaughtered 
so many, that now there are scarcely any left. No wolves 
nor other mischievous animals have been met with in these 
parts, except the tigers, which I mentioned in describing 
the forests of Buenaventura, and some small lions. In the 
wooded ravines there are also some snakes, and in all parts 
there are foxes of the country, and other wild creatures. Of 

' Literally " Foam of the lake." It was the name of one of the Yncas. 

- The first Quichua grammar was composed by Father Santo Tomas, 
and printed at Valladolid in lofiO, vnth a vocabulary as an appendix. 
This friar, a Dominican, was the first doctor who sraduated in the 
University of Lima. 

M 2 


partridges, pigeons, doves, and deer, there is abundance, 
and in the vicinity of Quito there are many rabbits. Dantas, 
or tapirs, are met with in the forests. 


Concerning the grandeur of the rich palaces of Tumebamba, and of the 
province of the Caiiaris. 

In some parts of this book I have aUuded to the great power 
of the Kings Yncas of Peru, and to their surpassing valour, 
and how, along a distance of more than one thousand two 
hundred leagues of coast which was under their rule, they 
appointed their delegates and governors, and formed many 
deposits full of all things necessary for their troops. In some 
of these depots there were lances, in others darts, and in 
others sandals, and so on with other arms and articles of 
clothing which these people use, besides stores of food. 
Thus, when a chief was lodged in one of these depots with 
his troops, there was nothing, from the most important to 
the most trifling article, with which they were not supplied. 
If there was any rising in the surrounding districts, they 
were ready to punish it with great severity ; for the Yncas 
were such perfect judges, that they did not hesitate to 
punish even their own sons. Besides these depots and 
lodgings throughout the kingdom, there were palaces and 
temples of the sun at every ten or twenty leagues along the 
road, where there were priests, Mama-cunas, virgins, and 
more complete supplies than at the other stations. There 
were also governors, or chief captains, appointed by the 
Ynca, with the Mitimaes and Indians bound to service. 
In the time when there was no war, and when the Ynca was 
not travelling in the neighbourhood, the duty of these 


people was to collect the tribute in their districts, and see 
that all necessary supplies were kept in readiness. One 
of these stations was a grand affair, for, when a King died 
his successor disturbed nothing, but rather repaired and 
improved the place, for each Ynca had his own palace, 
while that of his predecessor was ordered to be preserved as 
he left it. 

The famous buildings of Tumebamba are in the province 
of Caiiaris, and they were among the richest and most 
splendid in the whole kingdom of Peru.^ Certainly there is 
nothing which the Indians say of these buildings that did 
not appear to me to be even greater than their account, 
judging by the remains which still exist. 

To the westward is the province of Guancavilcas, which 
borders on the cities of Guayaquil and Puerto Viejo, and to 
the east is the great river Maranon, with its forests and some 

The buildings of Tumebamba are situated in a plain more 
than twelve leagues in extent, near two small rivers. The 
climate is cold, and there is plenty of game, such as deer, 
rabbits, partridges, pigeons, and other birds. 

The temple of the sun is built of stones very cunningly 
wrought, some of them being very large, coarse, and black, 
and others resembling jasper. Some of the Indians pre- 
tend that most of the stones of which these buildings and 
the temple of the sun are built, have been brought from 
the great city of Cuzco by order of the King Huayna 
Ccapac, and of the great Tupac Ynca his father, by means 
of strong ropes. If this be true it is a wonderful work, by 
reason of the great size of the stones and the length of the 
road.2 The doorways of many of the buildings were very 

' Velasco says there were few traces left of the buildings at Tume- 
bamba in his time. This was the favomite residence of the Ynca 
Huayna Ccapac. 

- Garcilasso de la Vega quotes this statement from Cieza de Leon 
(i, lib. viii, cap. 5). 


handsome and briglitly painted, witli several precious 
stones and emeralds let into the stone ; and the interior 
walls of the temple of the sun, and of the palaces of the 
Yncas, were lined with plates of the finest gold stamped 
with many figures. The roofs were of straw, so well put 
on that no fire would consume it, while it would endure for 
many ages.^ Within the buildings there were several 
bunches of golden straw, and sheep, lambs, birds, and 
many other things were sculptured on the walls. Besides 
all this, they say that there were enormous sums in gold 
preserved in jars and vases, and many rich vestments 
adorned with silver work and beads. In short, I am unable 
to describe the magnificence of these royal palaces of the 
Yncas. The cloth in the store-houses was in such quantity, 
and so rich, that, had it been preserved and not lost, it 
would have been worth a great treasure. There were more 
than two hundred virgins dedicated to the service of the 
sun, who were very beautiful, and natives of Cailaris, the 
province governed by the chief superintendent of the Ynca, 
who resided in these buildings. They and the priests were 
well cared for by those who had charge of the temple, at 
the doors of which there were porters. Near the temple 
and the palaces of the Yncas there were many buildings 

' I can testify to the truth of this statement, having carefully examined 
a thatch roof at Azangaro in Peru, which undoubtedly dates from the 
time of the Yncas. It is over the ancient circular building in that town, 
known as the Sondor-huasi. The outside coating consists of a layer of 
grass (StT/pa Ychn : Kunth) tAvo feet thick, placed in very regular rows, 
and most carefully finished, so as to present a smooth surface to the 
weather. Next there is a thick layer of the same grass placed hori- 
zontally and netted together with reeds, and finally an inner perpendicu- 
lar layer: — the whole thatch being five feet thick, and finished with most 
admirable neatness. It has been said that the colossal and highly finished 
masonry of the Yncas, such as that of the palace at Tumebamba, formed a 
barbaric contrast with the poor thatched roof, but the Sondor-hitasi proves 
that the roofs made by the Peruvians rivalled the walls in the exquisite art 
and neatness of their finish. See my Travels in Peru and India^ p. 104. 


used as lodgings for the troops, and as store-houses, which 
were always kept full. 

The natives of this province, called Caiiaris, arc good- 
looking and well grown. They wear their hair very long, 
so much so, that by that and a circular crown of wands, as 
fine as those of a sieve, the Caiiaris may easily be known, for 
they wear this head-dress as a distinguishing mark.^ 

The women also wear their hair very long, and take a turn 
with it round their heads, by which they may be known as 
easily as their husbands. They dress in woollen and cotton 
cloth, with usiitas on their feet, which are, as I have said 
before, like sandals. The women are very pretty, amorous, 
and friendly to the Spaniards. They are great labourers, 
for it is they who dig the land, sow the crops, and reap the 
harvests, while their husbands remain in the houses sewing 
and weaving, adorning their clothes, and performing other 
feminine offices. AVTien any Spanish army passed through 
their province, the Indians at that time being obliged to 
supply people to carry the baggage of the Spaniards on 
their backs, many of these Cauaris sent their wives and 
daughters, and remained at home themselves. I saw this 
myself when we marched to join the licentiate Gasca, presi- 
dent of his Majesty, for they sent us a number of women 
who carried our baggage. 

Some Indians say that this arises from the dearth of men 
and the great abundance of women, owing to the cruelty of 
Atahualpa to the people of this province, when he entered 
it after having kiUed the captain-general of his brother 
Huascar at Ambato, whose name was Atoco. They affirm 

■ The Caiiaris wore their haii' long, and rolled it up in a knot on the 
top of their heads. On the knot of hair they fastened a wooden hoop, 
from which hung a fringe of various colours. The commoner sort, in 
place of this hoop, wore a small calabash over their hair, and hence the 
whole tribe was nicknamed by the other Indians Mathe-unia {Mathe in 
Quichua is a calabash, and Uma, head). G. de la Vega, i. lib. viii, cap. 4. 


that, although the men and boys came out with green 
boughs and palm-leaves to seek for mercy, he, with a haughty 
air and severe voice, ordered his captains to kill them all. 
Thus a great number of men and boys were killed, and they 
say that now there are fifteen times as many women as 
men, and, being so numerous, they have to work as they 
are ordered by their husbands or fathers. The houses of 
the Canaris are small, and built of stone with straw roofs. 
The land is Very fertile, and abounds in provisions and 
game. The people worship the sun. The chiefs marry as 
many women as they please, but one is always the principal 
wife. Before the mari-iage takes place, they make a festival, 
and, after eating and drinking at their will, they perform 
other ceremonies according to the custom of the country. 
The son of the principal wife inherits the chiefship, although 
the chief may have many sons by other wives. They place 
their dead in tombs resembling those made by their neigh- 
bours, and also bury the women alive, together with arms 
and food. Some of these people are great magicians and 
sorcerers, but they do not practise the abominable crime, 
nor other sins and idolatries ; but they certainly reverence 
the devil, and those who are selected for the purpose con- 
verse with him. At present the chiefs have become Chris- 
tians, and (when I passed through Tumebamba) the prin- 
cipal chief was called Don Fernando. It has pleased our 
Lord and Eedeemer that they should be Avorthy to be called 
his sons, and to come into the union of our holy mother 
Church; for they hear the sacrefll evangel, and his words 
bear fruit in them. The temples of these Indians have been 

If the devil now deceives them it is in an underhand 
way, as happens sometimes even to the faithful, and not 
openly, as was his wont before the standard of the cross of 
Christ was planted in these Indies. 

Very great events passed in the time of the Yncas in 


these royal buildings of Tumebamba, and many armies 
have been assembled there for important objects. When 
the King died, the first thing that his successor did, after 
he had taken the royal fringe or crown, was to send gover- 
nors to Quito and Tumebamba, with orders to take pos- 
session in his name, and to build rich palaces adorned with 
gold, like those of his predecessor. The Onjoncs of Cuzco 
(the most learned and noble men in the kingdom), say that 
Ynca Yupanqui, father of the great Tupac Ynca, who was 
the founder of Tumebamba, enjoyed being here more than 
in any other place, and they say the same of Tupac Ynca. 
They also affirm that while Huayna Ccapac was residing 
here, he heard of the first arrival of the Spaniards in the 
land, when Don Francisco Pizarro reached the coast in the 
ship with thirteen companions, who were the first discoverers 
of Peru; and that he said that, after his days, a strange 
people would rule the land, like those who had arrived in 
the ship. He must have said this at the suggestion of the 
devil, as well as that the Spaniards would return to the 
country with great power. Now these buildings of Tume- 
bamba are in ruins, but it is easy to see how grand they once 

The province of Canaris is very broad, and full of many 
rivers, in which there are great riches. In 1544, they dis- 
covered such great and rich mines in these rivers, that the 
people of the city of Quito extracted more than eight hun- 
dred thousand pesos of gold. The quantity of this metal was 
such, that they often took out of the troughs more gold 
than earth. I affirm this, because I spoke with a man who 
had taken more than seven hundred 2^esos of gold out of a 
single trough ; and besides what the Spaniards got, the 
Indians took an unknown quantity. 

In all parts of this province where wheat is sown, it yields 
abundantly, and so also does barley. It is believed also 
that great vineyards may be planted, and that all the fruits 


and pulses of Spain may be grown, as well as those of the 

There is no want of a good site for building a great city. 
When the viceroy Blasco Nunez Vela passed this way, 
flying before the tyrannical fury of Gonzalo Pizarro and 
his followers ; it is stated that he said that, if he should 
become governor of this kingdom, he would build a city on 
these plains, and divide the Indians among the settlers who 
should establish themselves in it. But, God permitting it 
for some reason which he alone knows, the viceroy was 
killed, and Gonzalo Pizarro ordered the captain Alonzo de 
Mercadillo to found a city in these parts. As, however, 
the district was within the limits of Quito, he selected the 
province of Chaparra instead, as I will relate presently. The 
distance from the city of San Francisco de Quito to these 
buildings is fifty-five leagues. Here I will leave the royal 
road, along which we have hitherto been travelling, in order 
to give an account of the country in the neighbourhood of 
the cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil ; and having done 
this I will again return to the royal road. 


Concerning the road which leads from the province of Quito to the coast 
of the South Sea, and the bounds of the city of Puerto Viejo. 

I HAVE now brought my narrative as far as the buildings of 
Tumebamba, and it is necessary that I should describe the 
cities of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, although I would rather 
go on, both because I have not been much in the latter 
districts, and because the natives are deficient in intelli- 
gence, and it is difficult to get information from them. 
Also because it seemed to me sufficient that I should con- 


duct the reader along the royal road ; but my obligation to 
satisfy tbe curious obliges me to give a true account of 
everything that has come within my observation; and I 
feel certain that this will be agreeable to all learned, 
benevolent, and judicious readers. Thus I make the fol- 
lowing statements with all the truthfulness and exactness 
that I am master of. Having said so much concerning these 
provinces, I will then return to the royal road. 

To go, then, to these cities of Puerto Viejo and Guaya- 
quil, it is necessary to take the road from Quito to the coast 
of the South Sea, and I wdll commence my account at 
Guaque, which is the beginning of the one region and the 
boundary of the other. From Tumebamba there is no 
direct road to the coast, except in the direction of the city 
of San Miguel, the first settlement made by the Christians 
in Peru. 

In the district of Quito, not very far from Tumebamba, 
there is a pi'ovince called Chumbo, but before reaching it 
there are other villages of various sizes, inhabited by Indians 
wearing clothes, with good-looking women. There are royal 
buildings in the villages, as in those we have passed, and the 
people obeyed the Lords Yncas, and used the general lan- 
guage which was ordered to be talked in all parts. The natives 
have the same customs as their neighbours, and the same 
religion, worshipping the sun and other gods, and believing 
in the immortahty of the soul. They had relations with 
the devil, and, God permitting it for their sins, the evil one 
had great power over them. Now, as the holy faith is 
preached in every direction, many of them have become 
Christians, and friars are Living amongst them, who teach 
them the things concerning the faith. 

The natives of these parts have a very well marked sign 
of distinction, by which they may be known of all men. 
When I was in Cuzco people arrived there from all parts, 
and we knew by their distinguishing marks that some came 


from Canchiz, otliers from Canas, otliers from Collao^ others 
from Huancas^ and others from Chacliapoyas. This was, 
assuredly, an excellent invention, by means of which, in time 
of war, they could not mistake one tribe for another, and, 
in time of peace, each man knew his own countryman. 
Without some distinguishing mark, there would be many 
tribes gathered together by order of their chiefs, all of one 
colour, with the same features and appearance, all without 
beards, the same dress, and using one language. 

In all these villages there are now churches where they 
say mass, and great care is taken to teach the children their 
prayers, so that, with the help of God, there is hope that 
things will go on improving. 

From this province of Chumbo the road continues for 
fourteen leagues over rugged and sometimes difl&cult ground, 
until a river is reached where there are always natives with 
halsas who ferry travellers across. This place is called the 
pass of Huayna Ccapac, and it is said to be twelve leagues 
from the island of Puna. Further on the Indians are not 
so civilised as those we have passed, because some of them 
were not completely subjugated by the Kings Yncas. 


In which an account is given of certain things relating to the province of 
Puerto Viejo ; and also concerning the equinoctial line. 

The first port in the land of Peru is that of Passaos, and 
from it and the river of Santiago the government of the 
Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro commenced, for to the 
northward the land falls within the limits of the province of 
San Juan, and thus it may be said that the land to the 
}iorth is within the boundaries of the city of Santiago do 


Puerto Viejo, where, being so near the equator,^ the in- 
habitants are not very healthy. 

Touching the equinoctial line, some of the ancient cos- 
mographers were in error when they affirmed that the heat 
was such as to render the country lying under it uninhabit- 
able. The fertility of the land, and the abundance of all 
things necessary to sustain man, are manifest to all, and, as 
the equinoctial hne is touched upon in several parts of this 
history, I will here give an account of what I have gathered 
from the best cosmographers concerning it. The equinoctial 
hne is an imaginary line round the world from east to west, 
at equal distances from the poles of the earth. It is called 
equinoctial, because the passage of the sun across it makes 
the days and nights equal. This occurs twice in the year, 
namely on the 11th of March and 13th of September. It 
is to be understood, as I have already said, that the opinion 
of some ancient authors was that the country under this 
equinoctial hne was uninhabitable. They behoved this be- 
cause, as the sun there sent its rays on the earth vertically, 
the heat must, as they thought, be so excessive that none 
could live. Yirgil, Ovid, and other worthies were of this 
opinion. Others held that some part might be inhabitable, 
following Ptolemy, who says, " It does not follow that we 
should believe the torrid zone to be entirely without in- 
habitants.'' Others thought, on the contrary, that the 
climate was not only temperate and moderately warm, but 
very pleasant. This is affirmed by St. Isidore, who says 
that the terrestrial paradise is a temperate and delightful 
place in the east, under the equinoctial hne. Experience 
has now taught us that, not only the country exactly under 
the equinoctial line, but the whole torrid zone, from one 
tropic to the other, is habitable and fertile, by reason of the 
days and nights being almost equal. The coolness of the 
night tempers the heat of the day, and the land has its due 
season for growing and producing its fruits. This is the 


natural condition of the country, thougli some parts are dif- 

The Indians of the province of Santiago de Puerto Viejo 
are not long lived ; and, as regards the Spaniards, there 
are very few old men amongst them, though their number 
has been thinned more by the v^ars than by sickness. From 
this equinoctial line towards the Arctic Pole, the tropic of 
cancer is distant 420 leagues in 2oi°, and the sun arrives 
there on the 11th of June, but never passes beyond it, for 
it there takes a turn towards the equinoctial hue again, and 
reaches it on the 13th of September. Then it descends 
to the tropic of Capricorn, another 420 leagues, and also in 
23i°. There is, therefore, a distance of 840 leagues from 
tropic to tropic. The ancients called this the Torrid Zone, 
which is as much as to say the parched or toasted land, for 
the sun moves over it all the year. 

The natives are of middle height, and have a most fertile 
land, yielding abundance of maize, yucas, aji, potatoes, and 
many other roots which are useful for the support of man. 
There are also plenty of guavas and aguacates, besides tunas^ 
of two kinds, one white and of excellent flavour, caymitos, and 
another fruit they call cercziUa. The melons are of two kinds, 
also, those of Spain and those of the country, and there are 
all sorts of beans and peas. The orange and lemon trees 
abound, also bananas, and pine-apples of excellent flavour. 
There are great quantities of those pigs which (as I said 
before in speaking of the port of Uraba) have the navel on 
the back, which, however, is not really the navel, but some 
other thing that grows there. As they did not find a 
navel below, they called this excrescence on the back a 
navel. The flesh of these pigs is very savoury. There 
are also pigs of the Spanish breed, and many deer with the 
most singularly delicate flesh of any in Peru. Partridges, 
doves, pigeons, turkeys, and a vast number of other birds 
' Prickly pears. 


are found ; among thorn one callocl X.ida, which is about 
the size of a largo duck, and which the Indians rear in 
their houses. These birds are tame and good to eat. There 
is another bird called Maca,^ very little smaller than a cock. 
It is a beautiful thing to see the colours of the plumage of 
this bird^ and the beak, which is rather thicker than a 
finger, is most distinctly divided into two colours, yellow 
and red. In the forests they meet with foxes, bears, 
small lions, and some tigers and serpents, but they all 
fly from men who do not first attack them. There 
are also night birds of prey, as well inland as on the 
coast, such as condors, and the bird they call gallinazo,^ 
or auraJ' In the wooded ravines and forests there 
are many trees, which are useful for building houses 
and for other purposes. In some of these trees the bees 
make excellent honeycombs. The Indians have fisheries 
where they kill many fishes, among which are fish called 
honitos, a bad kind of fish which causes fevers and other 
evils to those who eat it. In all parts of the coast the men 
are afflicted with dark-coloured excrescences, the size of 
nuts, which grow on the forehead, nostrils, and other parts, 
and, besides being dangerous, they are very disfiguring. 
These bumps are said to be caused by eating a certain fish. 
However this may be, they are common on the coast, and, 
besides the natives, many Spaniards have been afflicted 
with these bumps. 

In this coast and territory, subject to the city of Puerto 
Yiejo and to that of Guayaquil, there are two kinds of 
people. From the cape of Passaos and river of Santiago to 
the town of Solango, the men are marked in the face, and 
the mark begins at the root of the ear and descends to the 

' This name is not given by Vclasco. 

- The turkey buzzard, a carrion bii'd which acts as a scavenger in the 
streets of South American towns. 
^ The word used in Mexico. 


chin, the breadth being according to each man's fancy. 
Some mark the greater part of the face, and others less, 
much after the fashion of the Moors. Both men and women 
wear mantles and shirts of cotton, and sometimes of wool. 
They also wear a few ornaments, such as jewels of gold and 
very small beads, called chaquira} In some provinces I 
have myself seen that the people put so high a value on 
these chaquiras, that they will give their weight in gold for 
them. In the province of Quinbaya (where the city of 
Cartage is situated) certain of the chiefs gave more than 
one thousand five hundred j^esos to the marshal Eobledo for 
little more than a pound weight of them, but at that time 
they gave two or three hundred pesos for three or four glass 
diamonds. In the matter of selhng to Indians we were 
then pretty safe from being deceived by them. It has 
even happened to me to sell a copper axe to an Indian for 
its weight in gold. But things are now changed, and the 
Indians well understand how to sell what they have, and 
how to buy what they require. 

The principal places where the Indians mark their faces 
in this province are Passaos, Xaramixo, Pimpaguace, Peclan- 
semeque, the valley of Xagua, Pechonse, Apechigue, Silos, 
Canilloha, Manta, Sapil, Manaui, Xaraguasa, and others. 
Their houses are of wood, roofed with straw, some small 
and others large, according to the means of the owner. 

' The chaquiras were very minute beads, which were so skilfully- 
worked that the best silversmiths in Seville asked Garcilasso how they 
were made. He took some to Spain with him, where they were looked 
upon as great curiosities. G. de la Vega, i, lib. viii, cap. 5. 



Treating of the question wliether the Indians of this province were 
conquered by the Yncas or not ; and concerning the death which 
they inflicted on certain captains of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui. 

Many Indians say that the Lords Yncas never conquered, 
nor were able to bring under their yoke, these natives of 
Puerto Viejo, of whom I am now treating, though others 
affirm the contrary, saying that the Yncas subjugated them, 
and had them under their orders. The latter say that Huayna 
Ccapac came in person to conquer them, and that, having 
been disobedient in some particular, he made a law that 
they and their descendants should have three of their front 
teeth pulled out in each jaw. They add that this custom 
was preserved for a long time in the province of Guan- 
cavilcas. In truth, as all vulgar reports are confused, and 
as the common sort can never tell the plain facts, it does 
not astonish me that they should relate these things, for in 
all things else the like reports are spread abroad, and 
become the talk of the people, being in reality mere fables. 
I make this digression here, that it may be borne in mind 
hereafter, for if things are repeated over and over again 
they become tiresome to the reader. This, therefore, will 
serve to give notice that many of the stories commonly 
reported among the people, concerning events which have 
happened in Peru, are fables. As regards the natives, 
those who have been curious in trying to learn their secrets 
know that what I say is the case. Concerning the govern- 
ment, and the affairs of war and of state which have 
occurred, I only look upon those principal men who were in 
high positions as authorities. These will relate what oc- 
curred, and the sayings of the people. 

Returning to the thread of my narrative, I have to say 


(according to what I have been given to understand hj old 
Indians who were captains under Huayna Ccapac), that, in 
the time of the great Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, his father, 
certain of his captains came, with a force collected from the 
ordinary garrisons of the provinces, and, by their politic 
arts, drew some of the chiefs to the service of Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui. Many of them went with presents to do him 
homage, and he received them wdth love and kindness, 
giving them rich pieces of woollen cloth made in Cuzco. 
When they returned to their provinces, they esteemed him 
so highly for his great valour, that they called him father, 
and honoured him with other titles, his benevolence and 
love for all being such that he acquired perpetual fame 
among them. In order to instruct them in things apper- 
taining to the government of the kingdom, he set out in 
person to visit these provinces, and left governors in them 
who were natives of Cuzco, that they might teach the 
people more civilised customs, and other useful things. 
But these natives not only did not wish to learn from those 
who remained in their provinces by order of Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui, in order to indicate to them a better mode of 
life, and to teach them agriculture ; but, in payment of the 
benefits they had received, they killed them all, so that not 
one was left. They killed them, although they had done no 
ill, nor had they been tyrannical, so as to merit such treat- 
ment. Tupac Ynca heard of this great cruelty, but he 
dissimulated, because, for other important reasons, he was 
unable to chastise those who had so treacherously murdered 
his captains and vassals. 



IIow these Indians were conquered by Iluayna Ccapac, and how they 
conversed with the devil, sacrificed to liim, and buried women alive 
with the bodies of their chiefs. 

After the events wliicli I have just alluded to as having 
occurred in the provinces near the city of Puerto Viejo, many 
of the natives relate that, in process of time, when the King 
named Huayna Ccapac was reigning in Cuzco, he visited the 
provinces of Quito in person, and entirely subjugated all 
these Indians. It must be understood that all these occur- 
rences in the history of the Indians are written from accounts 
given by the Indians themselves, who, having no letters, 
made use of a curious invention in order that their deeds and 
history might be recorded.^ Although these Indians were 
subject to Huayna Ccapac, and paid tribute in rich emeralds 
and gold, yet there were no buildings, nor depots, as in the 
other provinces we have passed through. The reason of 
this is that the country is poor and the villages small, so 
that the Orejones did not wish to live here, and held the 
country in small estimation. The natives of these villages 
were great sorcerers, and it is well known that no people in 
all Peru were so addicted to sacrifices and religious rites. 
Their priests had charge of the temples, and of the service 
to images which represented their false gods, before whom, 
at stated times, they recited songs and performed cere- 
monies which they learnt from their fathers, from whom 
they received the ancient customs. 

The devil, in frightful shape, appeared to those ap- 
pointed for this accursed office, who were much respected 
by all the other Indians. Among these one gave re- 
plies, and heard what the devil had to say, who, in order 
to preserve his credit, appeared in a threatening form. 

' The quipiis, or system of recording events by means of knots. 

N 2 


Thus he let them know future events, and no battle ov 
other event has taken place amongst ourselves, that the 
Indians throughout this kingdom have not prophesied 
beforehand. At the same time they never really knew, for 
it is clear, and must be beheved, that God alone knows 
what will come to pass. If, therefore, the devil is right in 
anything, it is because his words are equivocal, and will 
bear many meanings. With his gift of subtlety, and his 
great age, which has given him experience in affairs, he 
speaks to the simple who will hear him ; but many of the 
Gentiles know the deceitfulness of his replies. Thus, many 
of these Indians hold it to be certain that the devil is false 
and wicked, and they obey him more from fear than from love. 
At one time, deceived by the devil himself, at others by 
their own priest, they submit to his service by permission 
of Almighty God. In the temples, or huacas, they gave 
presents to objects which they held to be gods, and offered 
bloody sacrifices to them. And in order to do them more 
honour, they sacrificed something still more noble, namely, 
the blood of certain Indians, as many affirm. AVhen they 
took any of their neighbours prisoners, with whom they had 
war or enmity, they assembled (as they themselves declare) 
and, after having got drunk with their wine, and also having 
made the prisoner drunk, the chief priest killed him with 
lancets of stone or copper. They then cut off his head, and 
offered it, with the body, to the accursed devil, the enemy 
of human nature. When any of them were sick, they 
bathed many times, and offered up sacrifices, praying for 

They mourned for their chiefs when they died, and put 
the bodies in tombs, together with some women alive, and 
all their most precious effects. They were not ignorant 
of the immortality of the soul, although they did not fully 
understand it. There can be no doubt that, by an illusion 
of the (k'vil, the figures of persons who were dead, perhaps 


fathers or relations, appeared to these Indians in the fiekls in 
the dress they wore when living. By such false apparitions 
were these poor people made to obey the will of the evil 
one, and for this reason they buried people alive, together 
with the dead, that they may rise again with more honour. 
They held that by so doing they observed the rules of their 
religion, and obeyed their gods, and would go to a very 
delightful and pleasant place surrounded by the food and 
drink they were accustomed to when they were alive in the 


(The heading of this chapter is unfit for translation.) 

In many parts of these Indies the people worshipped the 
sun, although they also beheved in a Creator whose seat 
was in heaven. The worship of the sun was either received 
from the Yncas, or, as in the province of Guancavilcas, 
established from ancient times. 

The people of Guancavilcas (so they say) used to pull out 
three teeth in each jaw, the fathers doing it to their chil- 
dren when of very tender age, which they thought was no 
evil, but rather a service very acceptable to their gods. 
They marry in the same way as their neighbours. [The 
remainder of this j^ciragraph is unfit for translation.'\ 

The chiefship is inherited by the son (according to the 
account which they gave me), and, faihng sons, then the 
next brother, and, failing brothers, the sons of the sisters. 
There are some women who are good looking. Among the 
Indians of whom I am now treating the best-flavom-ed 
maize bread is made in all the Indies. It is so good and 
well kneaded, that it is even better than some wheaten 


In some villages of these Indians tliey have a great quan- 
tity of skins of men full of ashes, the appearance of which 
is as frightful as those in the valley of Lile, near the city of 
Cali. [The rest of the iJaragraph is unfit for translation.'] 

They have heard the preaching of many clergymen and 
friars, and begin to understand that our faith is the perfect 
and true one, and that the teaching of the devil is false, so 
that his deceitful communications have ceased. In all 
parts where the holy evangel is preached, a cross is placed 
at which the devil is terrified and flies away. But it is 
true that the faith impresses itself more on the young than 
on the old ; for as the latter are grown old in their vices, 
they do not cease to commit their former sins in secret, 
and in such sort that the Christians cannot detect them. 
The youths listen to our priests, and follow our Christian 
doctrine, so that in these districts there are good and bad, 
as in all other parts of the world. 


How in ancient times the Indians of Manta worshipped an emerald as 
their god ; and of other things concerning these Indians. 

In many histories which I have seen, I have read, if I am 
not mistaken, that in some countries they worshipped God 
in the form of a bull, in others of a cock, in others of a lion, 
and that there have been a thousand superstitions of this 
kind, which seem to afford matter for laughter more than 
anything else. I will only remark, therefore, that the 
Greeks, among whom there were excellent worthies, whose 
memory will last as long as writing itself, fell into these 
errors, as also did the Egy])tians, Bactrians, and Babylonians. 


Grave and learned doctors say that the Romans had many 
gods, and that they worshipped those from whom they 
had received benefits, such as Jupiter or Saturn ; these 
g-ods, however, were men and not brutes. These Indians, 
too, notwithstanding that they worshipped the sun and 
moon, also adored trees and stones, and other things sug- 
gested by their imaginations. I was informed, at the same 
time, that their pi-iests saw the devil, who communicated 
perdition to their souls. In the important temple of Pacha- 
camac they held a she fox in great venei-ation, and wor- 
shipped it. In this province, also, the Lord of Manta had 
an emerald of great size and value, which the people and 
their ancestors held in great veneration. On certain days 
it was publicly displayed, and worshipped as if it contained 
some deity. ^ On these occasions if any man or woman was 
sick, they performed a sacrifice, and then came forward to 
pray to the stone. They affirm that the priest, who con- 
versed with the devil, gave them to understand that the 
stone would bring health to them in requital for their offer- 

^ See also Garcilasso de la Vega, i, lib. ix, p. 311 ; and Acosta, lib. iv, 
cap. 14, p. 233. Acosta says that emeralds were found most abundantly 
in New Granada, and in Peru, near Manta and Puerto Viejo. The 
country round Manta, he adds, is called Esmeraldas, from the reported 
abundance of emeralds in it. 

According to UUoa the emerald mines of Manta, which were known to 
the Indians, were never discovered by the Spaniards. The skill of the 
Indians in working these precious stones is very remarkable. They are 
found in the tombs of the Indians of ]\Ianta and Atacames ; and are, in 
beauty, size, and hardness, superior to those of Xew Granada. They Avere 
worked by the Indians into spherical, cylindrical, conical, and other 
sliapes, and it is difficult to explain how this could have been done -with- 
out a knowledge of steel or iron. They also pierced the emeralds with a 
skill equal to that of modern jewellers. Ulloas Voyage^ i, lib. vi, cap. 11. 

Velasco says that an emerald was among the insignia of the Scyris or 
kings of Quito, and that the Indians of Manta worsliipped a great 
emerald imder the name of UmiYia. Historia del Quito^ i, p. 29. There 
are also some interesting remarks on the emeralds of ^Manta in Bollaert's 
Antiquarian and othtr Researches in New Granada, Ecuador, Pern, etc., 
p. 84. 


ings, after they and other ministers of the devil had applied 
to it. People who were afflicted with sickness came to 
Manta from all parts of the interior to offer afifts and per- 
form sacrifices ; and the Spaniards, who first discovered 
this kingdom, have told me that they found great riches in 
this town of Manta, and that it always yielded more than 
those which bordered on it to the encomienderos. They 
also say that, although threats and menaces have been 
resorted to to discover where this great and rich emerald is 
concealed, they have never been able to find it, nor will the 
natives betray the place if they are all killed, so great is the 
veneration in which it is held. 

This town of Manta is on the coast. In the interior 
there are more villages and more people, and they differ in 
language from those on the coast, but they have the same 
food. The houses of those inland, called Serranos, are of 
wood and small, the roofs of straw or palm leaves. They 
have some flocks of Peruvian sheep, but not so many as 
there are in Quito or in the province of Cuzco. 

The Serranos^ were not such sorcerers and magicians as 
the natives of the coast, nor were they so wicked in prac- 
tising the abominable sin. There is hope of some gold 
mijies in some of the rivers of these mountains, aud there 
is certainly a very rich emerald mine ; but although many 
captains have tried to discover it, they have not succeeded, 
nor will the natives tell them where it is. It is true that 
Captain Olmos is said to have known where this mine was, 
but I think that surely he would have told his brothers or 
some other persons. Certainly the number of emeralds that 
have been brought to Puerto Viejo is very great, and they 
are the best in all the Indies ; for though emeralds are more 
numerous in the new kingdom of Granada, they are not so 
good, so that the best there do not equal in value the most 
ordinary ones here. 

■ Tnliabitants of the inouiitains inland. 


The Caraques formed another tribe. They arc not 
labourers, and are less intelligent than their neighbours, 
being a disorderly people, and making war for very slight 
causes. When a child was born they put its head between 
two boards, so that at the age of four or five, the head was 
long and broad, but flat behind. Not content with the 
heads that God gives them, they thus make them into the 
shapes that please them most. They themselves say that 
they force their heads into these shapes that they may be 
more healthy, and be able to do more work. Some of these 
people, especially those near the village of Colima, to the 
northward, go naked. They relate that Huayna Ccapac 
arrived here, after having put to death the chiefs as far as 
Colima, where he ordered a fort to be built. Seeing that 
the Indians went naked, he did not go any further, but 
returned, leaving orders to his captains to conquer and 
subjugate as far as the river Santiago. 

Many of the Spaniards who came with the Adelantado 
Don Pedro de Alvarado (especially the marshal Alonzo de 
Alvarado, and the captains Garcilasso de la Vega, Juan de 
Saavedra, and another gentleman named Suer de Cangas) 
told me that when they landed on the coast with the said 
Adelantado Don Pedro, and came to this village, they found 
many vases full of gold, silver, and precious stones, besides 
a great quantity of emeralds, so that they gained much 
wealth for their valour. But many said that the emeralds 
were of glass ; so, to try the question (for some considered 
they might be stones), they determined to beat them with 
hammers, saying that if they were of glass they would soon 
break, but if they were of stone the blows would have no 
effect. Thus, from want of knowledge and experience, 
they broke many of these emeralds, and profited little by 
having found them. Nor did they enjoy their gold and 
silver, for they suffered much from cold and hunger, and 
left their loads of treasure in the forests. 



Ill which the account of the Indians of Puerto Viejo is finished ; and 
concerning the founding of that city, and who was its founder. 

I SHALL be brief in describing what more tliere is concern- 
ing these provinces of Puerto Viejo, because the substance 
of my account of them has already been written in the pre- 
ceding chapter ; and I shall then return to the palaces of 
Tumebamba, where I left the main thread of my history. 
I may here observe that, as soon as the Adelantado Don 
Pedro de Alvarado and the marshal Don Diego de Almagro 
had made their agreement on the plains of Riobamba, the 
Adelantado Don Pedro went to the City of the Kings, where 
he was to receive the hundred thousand casteUanos which 
were to be paid for his fleet and armament. Meanwhile 
the marshal Don Diego de Almagro left the captain 
Sebastian de Belalcazar with certain orders respecting the 
conquest of the province of Quito, and set out to establish 
the settlements on the coast. He then put things in order 
at San Miguel and Chimo, and looked out for a good and 
convenient site for the city of Truxillo, which was after- 
wards founded by the marquis Don Fracisco Pizarro. 

In all these affairs (as I have been told) the marshal 
Don Diego de Almagro showed himself to be a diligent 
captain. When he arrived at the city of San Miguel it was 
made known to him that, when the ships which came from 
Tierra Firme, and from the provinces of Nicaragua, Gruato- 
mala, and New Spain, arrived on the coast of Peru, the 
crews landed and did much harm to the natives of Manta, 
and of the coast of the province of Puerto Viejo. To avoid 
these evils, and that the natives might be watched and 
protected, he determined to send a captain to select a site 
where a town or city might be founded. 

Ho selected the captain Francisco Pacheco for tliis duty, 


and ordered him to set out with the requisite number of 
followers. Francisco Pacheco, in obedience to his orders, 
started from a village called Piquasa, and founded the city 
of Puerto Viejo in the locality which appeared to him most 
suitable. This was on the day of St. Gregory, the 12th of 
March, in the year of the birth of our Redeemer the Lord 
Jesus Christ 1535, and he founded it in the name of tlio 
Emperor Don Carlos our King and Lord. 

While the captain Francisco Pacheco was employed on 
this service, Pedro de Puelles,^ with some Spanish troops, 
came from Quito (where the captain Sebastian de Belal- 
cazar was lieutenant-general for Don Francisco Pizarro) to 
conquer the same coast of the South Sea, and there were 
some misunderstandings between them. When the news 
reached the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, he gave such 
orders as appeared to him best for the sei-vice of his Majesty 
and the good government and protection of the Indians ; in 
obedience to which, after the captain Francisco Pacheco 
had conquered these provinces, and marched thi'ough them 
for nearly two years, he peopled this city, the captain Pedro 
de Puelles having returned to Quito. 

' Pedro de Puelles, a native of Se\alle, was left as governor of Quito 
when Gonzalo Pizarro went on his famous expedition to the land of 
cinnamon in 1539. He was appointed to the command of the cavahy 
of Vaca de Castro's army, served in the battle of Chupas when the 
younger Almagro was defeated, and was afterw-ards sent as governor 
to Huanuco. He was confirmed in this command by Blasco Nuiiez de 
Vela, the viceroy ; but he went over to the party of Gonzalo Pizarro, 
and commanded his cavalry at the battle of Afiaquito, when the viceroy 
was killed. After the battle he urged Gonzalo to assume the title of 
king, believing that no terms could jDossibly be obtained from Charles V, 
and that they were cormiiitted too far to hope for forgiveness. Gonzalo 
left Puelles in Quito as his governor, and he afterwards seems to have 
intended to desert his old master and hand over his troops to the pre- 
sident Gasca, on condition of full pardon. But he was surrounded by 
greater traitore than himself, and one Rodrigo de Salazar headed a con- 
spiracy of five, who murdered Puelles in his own house, and led his troops 
to join Gasca, in order to get all the credit for their loyalty. 


At first tlie city was called tlie new town of Puerto Viejo, 
and it is situated in the most convenient and best part of 
the province, not very far from the South Sea. In many 
districts belonging to this city of Puerto Viejo, they make 
deep holes for the burial of their dead, which look more 
like wells than tombs. When they wish to inter a body, 
they clear out all the loose earth. A large number of 
Indians then assemble, dancing, singing, and mourning, 
not forgetting to drink, and beating drums. After they 
have done all these things, according to the custom of their 
ancestors, they lower the body down into the deep tomb, 
and, if he is a chief or important person, they bury the most 
beautiful and beloved of his women with him, besides jewels, 
food, and jars of wine made from maize. They then place 
those thick canes which grow in the country over the hole. 
As these canes are hollow, they take care to fill them with 
that drink made of maize or of roots, which they call acca,^ 
because, being deceived by the devil, they believe (at least 
so they have told me) that the dead man drinks of the 
liquor they put into the canes. This custom of burying 
arms, treasure, and food with the dead, is practised in the 
greater part of these newly-discovered countries ; and in 
many provinces they also bury women and boys alive 
with them. 


Of the wells which there are at the point of Santa Elena ; of the story 
they tell respecting the arrival of giants in those parts ; and of the 
t;ir which is found there. 

As, at the beginning of this work, I gave a detailed account 
of all the ports on the coast of Peru, from Panama to the 

' The Quichua word for cliicha or fenaeuted liquor. 


confines of Chile, which is a great length of coast, it does 
not appear necessary to repeat them here, and for this 
reason I shall not treat of them. I have also described the 
principal places in this province. There are, however, 
reports concerning giants in Peru, who landed on the coast 
at the point of Santa Elena, within the jurisdiction of this 
city of Puerto Viejo, which require notice. I will relate 
what I have been told, without paying attention to the 
various versions of the story current among the vulgar, 
who always exaggerate everything. The natives relate the 
following tradition, which had been received from their 
ancestors from very remote times. There arrived on the 
coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party 
of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their 
height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary 
man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs 
were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, 
and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair 
reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as 
small plates. They had no beards, and were dressed in the 
skins of animals, others only in the dress which nature gave 
them, and they had no women with them. When they 
arrived at this point, they made a sort of village, and even 
now the sites of their houses are pointed out. But as they 
found no water, in order to remedy the want, they made 
some very deep wells, works which are truly worthy of re- 
membrance; for such are their magnitude, that they certainly 
must have been executed by very strong men. They dug 
these wells in the living rock until they met with water, 
arid then they lined them with masonry from top to bottom 
in such sort that they will endure for many ages. The 
water in these wells is very good and wholesome, and 
always so cold that it is very pleasant to drink it. Having 
built their village, and made their wells or cisterns where 
they could drink, these great men, or giants, consumed all 


the provisions they could lay their hands upon in the sur- 
rounding country ; insomuch that one of them ate more 
meat than fifty of the natives of the country could. As all 
the food they could find was not sufficient to sustain them, 
they killed many fish in the sea with nets and other gear. 
They were detested by the natives, because in using their 
women they killed them, and the men also in another way. 
But the Indians were not sufficiently numerous to destroy 
this new people who had come to occupy their lands. They 
made great leagues against them, but met with no success. 
\_The next sentence is unfit for translation.'] All the natives 
declare that God our Lord brought upon them a punish- 
ment in proportion to the enormity of their offence. While 
they were all together, engaged in their accursed ... a 
fearful and terrible fire came down from heaven with a 
great noise, out of the midst of which there issued a shining 
angel with a glittering sword, with which, at one blow, 
they were all killed, and the fire consumed them. There 
only remained a few bones and skulls, which God allowed to 
remain without being consumed by the fire, as a memorial 
of this punisnment. This is what they say concerning 
these giants, and we believe the account because in this 
neighbourhood they have found, and still find, enormous 
bones. I have heard from Spaniards who have seen part 
of a double tooth, that they judged the whole tooth would 
have weighed more than half a butcher^s poimd. They also 
had seen another piece of a shin bone, and it was marvel- 
lous to relate how large it was. These men are witnesses 
to the story, and the site of the village may be seen, as 
well as the wells and cisterns made by the giants. I am 
unable to say from what direction they came, because I do 
not know.^ 

' This account of the tradition concerning giants at Point Santa Elene, 
is the fullest that is given by any of the old writers, and it is quoted as 
such by Garcilasso de la Vega (i, lib. ix, cap. 9). 

Zarate's version of the tradition differs but slightly from that of ("ieza 


In this year 1550, 1, being in the City of the Kings, 
heard that, when the most ilkistrions Don Antonio de Men- 
doza was viceroy and governor of New Spain, they found 
certain bones of men who must have been even larger than 
tlieso giants. I have also heard that previously they dis- 
covered, in a most ancient tomb in the city of Mexico, or 
in some other part of that kingdom, certain bones of giants. 
From all this we may gather that, as so many persons saw 
and affirmed these things, these giants really did exist. 

At the point of Santa Elena (which, as I have before 
said, is on the coast of Peru within the jurisdiction of the 
city of Puerto Viejo) there is a thing well worthy of note, 
and this is that there are certain wells, or mines, of such 
excellent tar, that as many ships as require caulking might 
be caulked with it. This tar must be some mineral which 
flows out at this place, and it comes forth very hot. I have 
not seen any other mines of tar in any of the other parts of 
the Indies which I have visited ; but I believe that Gonzalo 
Hernandez de Oviedo, in the first part of the general his- 

de Leon. He adds that little credit was given to the story until 1543, 
when a native of Truxillo, named Juan de Hohnos, caused excavations 
to be made, and found huge ribs and other bones, and enormous teeth. 
From that time the native tradition was beUeved. (Bistoria del Perv, 
lib. i, cap. iv.) Acosta also mentions the bones of giants of huge great- 
ness, found about Manta. (Acosta, lib. i, cap. 19.) Mr. Ranking, a 
fantastic theorist, who published his Researches on the Coiiquest of Peru 
and Mexico by the Mongols^ accompanied with Elephants^ in 1827, 
founds his theory on this tradition of giants having landed at Point Sta. 
Elena (p. 51.) 

It appears that fossil bones of huge mammals have been found on 
this part of the coast, where pieces of cliff are constantly breaking away, 
and they doubtless gave rise to this story about giants. Mr. Spruce tells 
me that a French naturalist took a quantity of these fossils home with 
him not long since. Ulloa calls these fossils the bones of giants, and 
Humboldt tliinks they belonged to cetaceous animals. Stevenson says 
he saw a grinder which weighed more than three pounds, with enamel 
spotted like female tortoise shell, in the possession of Do7i Jose INIcrino 
of Guayaquil. {Travels^ ii, p. 235.) 


toiy of the Indies, gives an account both of this and of 
others. Nevertheless, as I am not writing concerning the 
Indies generaHy, but only of the events which have taken 
place in Peru, I do not treat of other parts. With this I 
shall conclude what I have to say concerning the city and 
province of Puerto Yiejo. 


Concerning the foundation of the city of Guayaquil ; and how certain of 
tlie natives put tlie captains of Huayna Ccapac to death. 

Further on, towards the west, is the city of Guayaquil; 
and, as soon as the boundary of its jurisdiction is crossed, 
the Indians are Gruancavilcas — those toothless ones who, 
from custom, or to honour their accursed gods, pulled out 
their teeth, as I have before said. As I have already given 
an account of their dress and customs, I have no wish to 
repeat it in this chapter. 

In the time of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, lord of Cuzco, 
these people were conquered. The Lord Ynca subjugated 
them, and, in doing so, he proved himself to be a great 
captain, and won victories and notable trophies, displacing 
the garrisons of the natives, and allowing no armed men in 
any part except those who were posted at stations assigned 
by himself. He then ordered certain of his captains to 
explore the country, and to bring the natives to obedience 
by kindness and friendship. All these captains, as I have 
said before, were killed by the natives, without one being 

' In the second edition of Cieza de Tjcon the chapters are incorrectly 
numbered. Two chapters are numbered liv, and cliapters hii and Iv are 
omitted altogether. Two chapters are also numbered lix. It is necessary 
to retain the incorrect numbering, because all modern \vriters have quoted 
from the second edition. 


left alive. The natives did not at once receive the punishment 
they deserved for kilhng those who slept in confidence 
without suspecting such treason, because the Ynca was in 
Cuzco, and his governors and delegates had enough to do 
in their respective governments. When Huayna Ccapac 
succeeded, he showed himself to be as brave and valiant a 
captain as his father, with even more prudence, and full 
of pride at his new power. He set out from Cuzco 
in great haste, accompanied by the principal Orcjones^ of 
the two famous tribes of that city, called Hanan-Cuzcos, 
and Hurin-Cuzcos, After having visited the sacred temple 
of Pachacamac, and the garrisons which were stationed by 
his order in the provinces of Xauxa and Caxamarca, and 
other parts, both in the mountains and in the fruitful 
valleys of the coast, he reached Tumbez, where a fortress 
was built by his order, although some Indians say that 
this edifice is more ancient. The people of the island of 
Puna being hostile to the natives of Tumbez, it was 
easy for the captains of the Ynca to build this fortress 
while the Indians were engaged in their own quarrels. 
^\Tien it was finished Huayna Ccapac ordered a temple of 
the sun to be built, and two hundred virgins, from amongst 
the most beautiful daughters of the chiefs of the province, 
to be collected together in it. In this fortress (which 
before it was ruined, is said to have been a thing worthy 
of notice) Huayna Ccapac had his captain or delegate, with 
a number of Mitimaes, and stores and provisions for their 
maintenance, as well as for the troops that passed that way. 
They also say that a lion and a very fierce tiger were placed 
in the fortress and ordered to be well guarded. These 
must have been the beasts which made as if they would 
tear the Captain Pedi'o de Candia in pieces,- at the time 

' Ynca nobles, so called by the Spaniards from the large gold orna- 
ments worn in their ears. 

- Pedro de Candia was a Greek, and one of the heroic thii-teen wlio 



when the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen 
companions (who were the discoverers of Peru, as I shall 
relate in the third part of my work) reached this coast. 
In the fortress of Tumbez there were a great number of 
silversmiths who made vases of gold and silver, and many- 
other ornaments both for the service and adornment of the 
temple, which these people considered sacred, and for the 
use of the Ynca himself. They also had to prepare the 
plates of these metals, to line the walls of the temples 
and palaces. The women, who were dedicated to the ser- 
vice of the temple, only understood how to spin and weave 
very fine woollen cloth, which they did with great skill. 
As I shall wi'ite very fully and copiously of these things in 
my second part, which will treat of the kingdom of the 
Yncas in Peru, from Manco Ccapac, who was the first, to 

crossed the line drawn on the sand by Pizarro, at the island of Gallo. He 
was a very tall stout man. When the ship arrived at Tumbez, in Peru, 
there was some hesitation as to landing amongst a hostile people, and 
Pedro de Candia volunteered to go first. Putting on a coat of mail 
reaching to the knees, with a sword by his side and a cross in lus hand, 
he walked towards the town with an air as if he had been lord of the 
whole province. The Indians were astonished at liis appearance, and, to 
find out what manner of man he was, they let loose a lion and a tiger 
upon him, but the animals crouched at his feet. Pedro de Candia gave 
the Indians to understand that the virtue of the cross he held in his hand 
had been the cause of this mii-acle. The Indians, believing that he must 
be a child of the sun, showed him the temple and palace of Tumbez, and 
so he retui-ned to the ship, which sailed back to Panama. He accom- 
panied Pizarro to Spain and was rewarded by Charles V. Tliis Greek 
captain fought by the side of Pizarro during the conquest of Peru, and 
when it was completed, he led an expedition into the forests of Moxos, 
east of Cuzco, but was obliged to return. After the murder of Pizarro 
he joined the younger Almagro, and superintended the casting of cannon 
for him at Cuzco ; but afterwards entered into correspondence with the 
royal army under Vaca de Castro, and at the battle of Chupas he pur- 
posely pointed the guns at such an angle as to send the balls over tlie 
heads of the enemy. Young Almagro, observing this treachery, ran him 
through the bcxly, and he fell dead. 

Garcilasso de la Vega says that he was at school with Pedro de Candia's 
son, at Cuzco, who inherited his father's stature ; for being only twelve 
years old he had a body large enough for one twice his age. 


Huascar, who was the last, I shall say no more in this 
chapter than is necessary to make the narrative clear. As 
soon, then, as Huayna Ccapac had made himself master of" 
the province of the Guancavilcas and of Tumbez, he sent 
to Tumbala, the lord of Puna, to order him to come and do 
homage. When the lord of the island of Puna^ heard what 
the Ynca's message conveyed, he was much moved, for, 
being a chief, and having received that dignity from his 
ancestors, he held it to be a great calamity to lose that 
liberty which is so much esteemed by all the nations of the 
earth, and to receive a stranger as sole lord of his island ; 
for he was not only required to serve him, but to allow his 
edifices and fortresses to be built on the island, and to 
give up his most beautiful women, which was what he felt 
most. Finally, however, those of the island consulted one 
with another touching the present calamity, and, considering 
how small their power was to resist that of the Ynca, they 
agreed that it would be prudent to seek for his friendship, 
and to feign submission. Tumbala then sent messengers 
to Huayna Ccapac with presents, and invited him to visit 
the island of Puna for a few days. The Ynca was satisfied 
with this humility, and Tumbala, with the chiefs of the island, 
sacrificed to the gods, seeking what they should do to 
escape from the Ynca, who sought to be supreme lord over 
aU. It is said that messengers were sent to all the neigh- 
bouring provinces to try the temper of the people, and to 
excite them to resist Huayna Ccapac. This was done very 
secretly, and in the meanwhile the Ynca went to the island 
of Puna, where he was honourably received, and lodged in 
buildings which had been prepared for him. The Orejones 
and the chiefs of the island assembled, and showed signs of 
real and not simulated friendship. 

As many of the natives of the main land desired to Hve 
as their ancestors had done, and as a foreign yoke is always 

' Tlie large island at the mouth of the river of Guayaquil. 



heavy and distasteful, while that of a countryman is easy and 
light, they conspired with the natives of the island of Puna 
to kill all those who came into the country with the Ynca. 
At that time Huayna Ceapac ordered certain of his captains, 
with a large force, to visit some of the villages on the main- 
land, and to arrange affairs connected with his service; 
and he ordered the islanders to convey them in balsas 
across the sea, and to disembark them in a river whence it 
would be convenient to go to their destination. Having 
arranged these and other matters on the island, Huayna 
Ceapac returned to Tumbez, or to some place near it. The 
Orejones, noble youths of Cuzco, then got into the balsas, 
with their captains, a large and well-appointed fleet. They 
were crossing the water without suspicion, when the 
islanders treacherously unfastened the cords by which the 
poles of the balsas were secured, so that the poor Orejones 
fell into the water, where they were all cruelly murdered by 
the islanders with the arms which they had secretly brought 
with them. By killing some and drowning others, they 
put an end to all the Orejones, and nothing was left of them 
but some mantles and a few of their ornaments. As soon 
as the aggressors had committed these murders, their joy 
was very great, and they talked and complimented each 
other in the balsas to such an extent, that it might have 
been supposed that the Ynca and all his troops were in 
their power. They enjoyed their victory, and appropriated 
the treasures and ornaments of these people of Cuzco, but 
they finally met a fate very different from their thoughts, as 
I am about to relate. The Orejones who came in the balsas 
being dead, the murderers quickly returned to the place 
whence they had started, to take more people on board. 
The rest of the Orejones, unaware of the trick which had 
been played on their companions, then embarked with their 
clothes, ornaments, and provisions, and were all killed in 
the same way, so that not one escaped. If any that knew 
how to swim tried to save their lives, they were killcMl l)y 


fierce and cruel blows, and if they dived, and thus strove to 
fly from their enemies by seeking favour of the fishes that 
dwell in the depths -of the sea, it was of no avail, for the 
islanders, who live much in the sea, employed in their 
fisheries, swim as well as the fishes, and easily overtook the 
fugitives and sti-anglcd them. The sea was full of blood, 
the sign of a sad spectacle. As soon as all the Orcjoiws 
who went in the balsas were killed, those of Puna, with 
the other Indians who had conspired with them, returned to 
the island. 

AVhen these events were made known to the King 
Huayna Ccapac, he was enraged and deeply distressed that 
so many of his nobles should have no tombs. In truth 
they think more of the building and adorning of their 
tombs where they are to be put after death, than of the 
houses where they dwell while li\Tng. Presently the Ynca 
assembled all his remaining forces, and resolved to punish 
the barbarians in such a manner that neither resistance nor 
submission should avail them, for their offence was held to 
be so grave, that it was more necessary to punish with 
severity than to pardon with clemency and humanity. Thus 
thousands were put to death in various ways, and the chiefs 
who formed the conspiracy were impaled or hung.^ After 
he had inflicted a great and terrible punishment on these 
Indians, Huayna Ccapac ordered that the misfortune which 
had befallen his followers should be recorded in songs, and 
sung in seasons of mourning ; for such subjects are recited 
in their languages in elegies. He also ordered a causeway 
to be made along the river of Guayaquil, which, judging 
from some parts that may still be seen, must have been a 
superb work, but it was never finished. It is called the 
" passage of Huayna Ccapac.^^ Having inflicted this punish- 
ment, he ordered that all the natives should obey his go- 
vernor, who was in the fortress of Tumbez, and having 

' G. do la Vega, in relating these events, copies largely from Cieza de 
I^eon (i, lib. ix, ca^is. 1, 2, and 3). 


arranged other matters, the Yuca departed from this province. 
There are other districts and villages within the jurisdiction 
of the city of Guayaquil, but I have nothing to say con- 
cerning them, except that the manners and dress of the 
inhabitants are the same as those already described, and 
that their country is the same. 


Of the island of Puna, and of that of La Plata : and concerning the 
atbiiirable root called sai-saparilla, wliich is so useful for all diseases. 

The island of Puna, which is near the port of Tumbez, is 
little more than ten leagues round, yet in former times 
it was considered an important place ; for, besides that the 
inhabitants are great traders, and possess in their islands 
all things needful to sustain human life, which are sufficient 
causes for their wealth, they are held to be vahant by 
their neighbours, and in ancient times they waged fierce 
wars with those of Tumbez and of other provinces. For 
very slight causes they killed each other, and seized their 
women and children. The great Tupac Ynca sent am- 
bassadors to these islanders, proposing that they should 
be his friends and allies; and they, owing to his great 
fame, heard his embassy, but refused to serve him, and they 
were not entirely subdued until the time of Huayna Ccapac, 
although others say that they had been conquered and 
brought within the rule of the Yncas by Ynca Yupanqui, 
but that they had rebelled ; however this may have been, 
the events connected with the murder of the captains, 
already described, certainly took place. These islanders 
are of middle height, and dark skinned. They dress in 
cotton cloths, both men and women, and wear cliaqidras 
on several parts of the body. They also put on pieces of 
gold in ordei' to look smart. 


The island is covered with lai-ge woods and flowering 
meadowSj and abounds in fruit. It yields plenty of maize, 
yucas, and other edible roots, and there are also birds of 
all kinds, such as parrots, (luacaviaijas,^ and of beasts, 
monkeys, lions, foxes, snakes, and many others. When 
the chiefs die they are lamented by all the people, as well 
men as women, and are interred with great signs of 
respect, according to their custom. They bury the most 
valuable things, arms, and most beautiful women with the 
deceased, the women being buried alive in the tombs to 
keep their husbands company. They mourn for the dead 
during many days, and shave the heads of the women in 
the houses, even those who are the nearest relations. They 
are given to religious ceremonies, and to the commission 
of some crimes. The devil had the same power over them 
as he had over other Indians, and some of them conversed 
with him. 

They had their temples in dark and hidden places, and 
carved the walls with horrible pictures. In front of their 
altars, where they performed sacrifices, they killed many 
animals and some birds ; and it is said that they even killed 
slaves or prisoners taken in war, offering up their blood to 
the accursed devil. 

In another small island, at no great distance, the natives 
say that, in the time of their ancestors, there was a temple, 
or Jiuaca, where they also worshipped their gods and per- 
formed sacrifices. Round the temple they had quantities 
of gold, silver, and other valuable things, such as woollen 
cloths and jewels, which had been offered up at different 
times. It is also said that some of the islanders of Puna 
committed the accursed sin. At present, by the will of 
Grod, they are not so bad, or, if they are, they do not 
commit their crimes publicly and openly, for there are 
clergy on the island now, and the natives are aware of the 
' ^Macaws. 


blindness in which their fathers lived, and how erroneous 
was their belief. They also know how much they gain by 
believing our holy catholic faith, and by having Jesus Christ, 
our Redeemer, for their Grod. Thus, by his great goodness 
and mercy, many have become Christians, and more are 
converted every day. 

An herb grows in abundance on this island, and in the 
province of Guayaquil, which is called sarsaparilla because it 
grows like a bramble from its birth, and small leaves grow 
out of the suckers and other parts of the branches.^ The roots 
of the herb are useful for all sicknesses, and especially for 
bilbos, and to mitigate the evil which this pestiferous disease 
causes to man. Those who wish to be cured are put in a warm 
room, well covered up, so that the cold or air can do no 
injury. Then, by merely purging, eating delicate meats, 
and drinking an infusion of this root for some days, without 
any other remedy, the evil is cleared out of the body, and 
shortly the patient is more healthy than he ever was before, 
and the body is left without any vestige of the evil, but re- 
mains so perfect that it seems as if it had never been ailing. 
Thus they have truly effected great cures in the town of Gua- 
yaquil at different times. Many, too, whose bowels are out 
of order, by simply drinking an infusion of these roots, be- 
come healthy, and in better condition than before they were 
taken ill. Others suffering from hubos are also cured, as 
well as those with boils or tumours. I take it for certain 
that this is the best root and herb in the world, and the 
most useful, as is proved by the numbers who have been 
cured by it. This sarsaparilla grows in many parts of the 
Indies, but none is so good or efficacious as that which is 
found on the island of Puna and in the province of the city 
of Guayaquil.- 

' Sarsa^ a bramble, and parilla, a vine. 

' Smilax ojficinalis H.. B. K. The root of sarsaparilla was brought to 



I low the city of Santiago de Guayaquil was founded and settled, of 
some Indian villages which are subject to it, and concerning other 
things until its boundary is 

That it may be known how the city of Santiago de Guay- 
aquil was founded, it will be necessary to say something- 
concerning it, although, in the third part of my work, I 
shall treat more fully on the subject, in the place where the 
discovery of Quito and conquest of these provinces by the 
captain Don Sebastian Belalcazar is narrated. This officer, 
having full powers from the Adelantado Don Francisco 
Pizarro, and hearing of the province of Guayaquil, deter- 
mined to found a city within its hmits. He, therefore, 
started from San' Miguel with a party of Spaniards, and, 
entering the province, induced the natives to come to terms, 
giving them to understand that their natural lord and king 
was his Majesty. As the Indians already knew that San 
Miguel, Puerto Viejo, and Quito itself, were peopled by 
Christians, many of them came forward to make peace ; so 
the captain Sebastian de Belalcazar chose a place which 
seemed to him proper for the site of a city, but he remained 
there only a few days, because it was necessary for him to 
return to Quito. He left one Diego Dasa as captain and 
alcalde, and it was not long before the Indians began to 
understand the exacting spirit and avarice of the Spaniards, 
their greed for gold and silver, and their desire after pretty 
women. As the Spaniards were also divided amongst 
themselves, the Indians conspired to kill them, and as they 

Eiu-ope in about 1530. The stem is twining, shrubby, and prickly. 
Acosta says that the water on the island of Puna, flowing past the sarsa- 
pariUa roots, ha.s healing virtues (Ub. iii, cap. 17). lliere is a great 
trade in siirsaparilla down all the Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon. 


determined so they acted^ the Spaniards being very in- 
cautious. All were killed except five or six soldiers and 
their chief, Diego Dasa. These, amidst great dangers and 
difficulties, escaped to Quito, but the captain Belalcazar 
had already set out to discover the provinces further to the 
north, leaving as his lieutenant a captain of good hneage, 
named Juan Diaz. When the news was heard in Quito, 
several Christians returned with the same Diego Dasa and 
the captain Tapia, and had several fights with the Indians, 
who had encouraged and animated each other to defend 
their persons and property. The Spaniards made proposals 
of peace, but without avail, for the natives were full of 
hatred and animosity. They showed these feelings by kill- 
ing several Christians and horses, and the rest retreated to 
Quito. These events having occurred, the governor Don 
Francisco Pizarro sent the captain Saera to form this 
settlement. He entered the province afresh, with the 
intention of dividing the villages amongst the Spaniards 
who accomj)anied him on this conquest, but the governor 
recalled him in great haste to relieve the City of the Kings, 
which was besieged by the Indians. The new city was 
therefore again abandoned, owing to this order of the 
governor. Some time afterwards the captain Francisco de 
Orellana^ entered the province, by order of the Adelantado 
Don Francisco Pizarro, with a larger force of Spaniards 
and horses. He founded the city of Santiago de Guayaquil 
in a better position, in the name of his Majesty, Don 
Francisco Pizarro being governor and captain-general of 
Peru, in the year 1537. Many of the Guancavilcas Indians 
sei've the Spanish citizens of this city of Santiago de 
Guayaquil; and, besides the city, the towns of Yaquel, 
Colonche, Chanduy, Chongon, Daule, Chonana, and many 
others are within the limits and jurisdiction of the province. 

' This is the otHcer who afterwards deserted (louzalo Pizarro, and was 
the first to SJiil down the Amazon. 


All these places have fertile lands well supplied with pi-o- 
visions and abundance of fruit, and in* the hollows of the 
trees there is much excellent honey. Near the city there 
are wide open plains, forests, and thickets of tall trees. 
Rivers of good water flow down from the mountains. 

The Indians, both men and women, dress in shirts, with 
cloths between their legs. On their heads they wear crowns 
of very small gold beads, called chaquira, and some of silver. 
The women wear one mantle from the waist downwards, 
and another over their shoulders, and their hair is worn 
very long. In some of these villages the caciques or chiefs 
fasten bits of gold on their teeth. It is said by some of 
them that when they sowed their fields, they sacrificed 
human blood and the hearts of men to him whom they 
reverenced as god ; and that in every village there were old 
Indians who conversed with the devil. When the chiefs 
were sick, to appease the wrath of their gods, and pray for 
health, they made other sacrifices of a superstitious nature, 
killing men (as I was told), and beheving that human 
blood was a grateful ofiering. In doing these things they 
sounded drums and bells before certain idols shaped Hke 
lions or tigers, which they worshipped. When any of the 
chiefs died, they made a round tomb with a vaulted roof, 
and the door towards the rising sun. The body was buried 
with Live women, his arms, and other things, in the same 
way as was done by the Indians already described. The 
arms with which these Indians fight are wands, and clubs 
called macanas} Most of these Indians have died out and 
come to an end. Those that remain are, by the will of 
God, becoming Christians, and httle by httle forgetting 
their evil customs as they embrace our holy faith. It now 
appears to me that I have said enough concerning the cities 
of Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, so I will return to the royal 
road of the Yncas, which I left after reaching the build- 
ings of Tumebamba. 

' A Qiuchua word. 



Of the Indian villages between the buildings of Tumebaniba and the 
city of Loxa, and concerning the founding of that city. 

Setting out from Tumebamba^ in tlie direction of Cuzco, 
the great road passes through the province of the Canaris^ 
until it reaches Canaribamba and the buiklings a little 
further on. Villages belonging to the same province are 
seen on either hand/and to the eastward there are moun- 
tains^ on the other side of which the country, which is 
inhabited, slopes down towards the river Maranon. Be- 
yond the boundary of these Caiiaris Indians is the province 
of the Paltas, in which there are some buildings now known 
as " the stones," because many are to be seen which the 
Yncas, in the time of their power, had sent to their super- 
intendents or delegates. These tampus^ were ordered to 
be built, because the province of the Paltas was considered 
important. They were extensive and handsome, the masonry 
being well executed. The quarry whence the stones were 
brought is near the source of the river of Tumbez. Here 
the tribute was collected, which the natives were obliged 
to pay to their king and lord, or to the governors in his 

To the westward of these buildings is the city of Puerto 
Viejo, and to the eastward the province of Bracamoros,- 
were there are vast territories and many rivers, some 
of them very great and powerful. There is hope that 
by marching for twenty or thirty days, a rich and fer- 
tile land will be reached. But there are great forests 
in the way, some of them very frightful and dangerous. 
The Indians go naked, and are not so intelligent as those 
of Peru, nor were they subdued by the Kings Yncas. 
They arc not so civilised, nor have they any pohty, any 
> Inns. - ^lorc correctly Paca-muru. 


more than the Indians subject to the city of Antioquia, or 
to the town of Arma, or those in the government of Po- 
payan. These Indians of the province of Bracamoros 
resemble those mentioned above iu their customs, and they 
are said to be very valiant warriors. Even the very Orejoncfi 
of Cuzco confess that Huayna Ccapac turned and fled before 
their fury. 

The captain Pedro de Vergara was occupied for some 
years in making discoveries and conquests in this region, 
and founded a settlement in it ; but the troubles of Peru 
prevented its complete exploration, and the Spaniards 
entered it two or three times in the course of the civil 
wars. Afterwards the president, Pedro de la Gasca, sent 
the captain Diego Palomino, a citizen of the town of San 
Miguel, to undertake this discovery. When I was in 
the City of the Kings, certain conquerors arrived to give 
an account of what they had done for the said president 
and the judges. As the doctor Bravo de Seravia, a judge 
of the Eoyal Audience, is very curious, they gave him 
a particular account of what had been discovered. In 
truth, any captain who set out in that direction with a suf- 
ficient force, would bring to light a very rich land, as 
I learn from the reports I have heard. But, although I 
have heard that the captain Diego Palomino settled in those 
parts, yet I shall say no more, as I have not obtained any 
certain intelligence, and what I have already said is sufiicient 
for the understanding of what may have been done. 

The distance from the province of Canaris to the city of 
Loxa (which is also called La Sarza) is seventeen leagues, 
the whole road being rugged or boggy, and half way is the 
town of the Paltas, as I have already said. Soon after 
leaving the building of " the stones,^' an ascent commences 
which lasts a little more than ten leagues. Here it is very 
cold, and at the end of the descent there is another build- 
ing called Tamboblanco, whence the royal road leads to a 


river called Catamaya. On the rig]it-hand side, near the 
same river, is the city of Loxa, which was founded by the 
captain Alonzo de Mercadillo, in the name of his Majesty, 
in the year of our Lord 1546.^ 

There are numerous villages around the city of Loxa, 
and the natives have almost the same customs as those in 
the neighbouring districts. They wear a particular fringe, 
or band, on their heads to distinguish them. They per- 
formed sacrifices, and worshipped the sun as well as other 
more common objects, but, like the other Indians, they 
believed in a Creator of all things. As regards the im- 
mortality of the soul, they all understand that man is 
composed of something more than the mere mortal body. 
When their chiefs die, deceived by the devil, in common 
with all the other Indians, they bury women alive with the 
bodies. Now, however, as some of them understand that 
it profits nothing to persevere in their ancient evil prac- 
tices, they will not kill women by burying them with dead 
bodies, nor are they now so particular in this matter of 
sepulture. Indeed, they laugh at those who still continue 
the customs which their ancestors considered of such im- 
portance. Not only do they refrain from spending so much 
time in making these tombs, but, on the approach of death, 
they desire to be interred like Christians in small and 
humble graves. This is done by those who, having been 
washed in the most holy water of baptism, deserve to be 
called the sei-vants of God and the sheep of his pasture. 
But there are many thousands of old Indians who are now 
as bad as they ever were, and will continue to be so until 

' Loxa afterwards became fanioiiij for its forests of Chinchona trees 
yielding Peruvian bark ; the healing virtues of which were not made 
known to the Spaniards until fifty years after the time of Cieza de Leon. 
M. Jussieu tells us that the first fever cured by means of Chinchona bark 
was that of a Jesuit at Malacotas, some leagues south of Loxa, in the 
year IGOO. The countess of Chinchon, wife of the viceroy of Peru, 
was cured of a fever by a dose of Loxa bark, in the year 1(538. 


the goodness and mercy of God brings them to a true 
knowledge of his laws. These desire their bodies to be 
placed in secret places, far from the roads and villages 
frequented by Christians, on lofty mountains, or amidst 
snow-covered rocks, wrapped in richly-coloured mantles, 
with all the gold they possess. 

Most of the villages subject to the city of Loxa were 
under the rule of the Yncas, ancient lords of Peru, who 
(as I have said in many parts of this history) had their 
court in the city of Cuzco, which was always the capital of 
these provinces ; and, notwithstanding that many of the 
natives were dull and stupid, they abandoned their bar- 
barous ways, and became more civilised by contact with 
the Yncas. The cHmate of these provinces is pleasant and 
healthy, and in the valleys and on the banks of rivers it is 
more temperate than on the mountains. The cultivated 
part of the mountains is good land, but rather cold, and 
the snowy rocks and desert places are intensely so. There 
are many guanacos and vicunas, which are like their sheep ; 
and partridges, some a little smaller than domestic fowls, 
and others larger than doves. On the banks of the rivers 
there are flowering shrubs, and many fruit trees of the 
country. The Spaniards have now planted pear, fig, 
orange, and other trees of Spain, In the district of 
Loxa they also breed large herds of swine of the Spanish 
sort, goats, and sheep, for there is excellent pasture and 
many streams of water flowing in all directions, which 
descend from the mountains. There are hopes that the 
district may contain rich mines of gold and silver, and some 
have already been discovered. The Indians, now that they 
are secure from the turmoils of war, and are the masters of 
their persons and property, raise many Spanish fowls, 
pigeons, and other birds. Pulses grow well in the dis- 

The natives of the countrv round Loxa are of middle 


height, and dress in shirts and mantles, both men and 
women. Within the forests, it is affirmed by the natives 
that there are numerous tribes rich in gold, and some large 
rivers. These tribes go naked, both men and women, for 
the country is hotter than Peru, and was never subjugated 
by the Yncas. The captain Alonzo de Mercadillo, with a 
force of Spaniards, set out in the year 1550 to verify these 

The situation of the city of Loxa is the best and most 
convenient that could be found within the province. The 
repartimientos of Indians held by the citizens were first 
obtained in encomienda by those who were in Quito and 
San Miguel. As the Spaniards who travelled by the roj^al 
road, to go to Quito and other parts, ran risks from the 
Indians of Carrochamba and Chaparra, this city was founded ; 
and, notwithstanding that Gonzalo Pizarro had ordered it 
to be peoi3lcd while he was engaged in his rebellion, still the 
president Pedro de la Gasca, considering that it would be 
for the service of his Majesty that it should not be aban- 
doned, approved of its being founded, and after the judg- 
ment on Gonzalo Pizarro, he gave Indians to the settlers. 
It appears to me that I have now said enough concerning 
this city, so I shall pass on, and treat of the other cities 
in this kingdom. 

" He explored the course of the IMarauon as far as the pongo or rapid 
of Manseriche, in 1548. 



Concerning the pro\4nces between Tamboblanco and tlie city of San 
^liguel, the first city founded by the Christian Spaniards in Peru ; 
and what there is to be said of tlie natives. 

As I have undertaken in this work to satisfy the reader on 
all points worthy of note concerning the kingdom of Peru, 
although it will be great trouble to me to stop at one place 
and return to another, still I shall not fail to do so when it 
is necessary. In this place I shall treat of the foundation 
of San Miguel/ the first city founded by Christian Spaniards 
in Peru, and of the valleys and sandy deserts in this great 
kingdom, leaving the grand road over the mountains 
once more. I shall fully describe these provinces and 
valleys on the coast, along which runs another grand road 
made by the Kings Yncas, of the same magnitude as that in 
the mountains. I shall give an account of the Yuncas,'^ 
and of their great edifices, as well as of the information I 
obtained concerning the secret of its never raining in these 
valleys and sandy deserts, and of the great abundance of 
things necessary for the support of man. Having done 
all this, I shall return to my mountain road, and follow it 
until I come to the end of this first part. But, before 
descending to the coast, travelling along the same royal 
mountain road, we come to the provinces of Calva and 
Ayavaca, which have the forests of Bracamoros on the east, 
and the city of San Miguel, of which I shall treat presently, 
on the west. 

In the province of Caxas there are great buildings, 
erected by the orders of the Yncas, and formerly occupied 
by a governor and a number of Mifimaes, who had charge 
of the collection of tribute. Beyond Caxas is the province 

' Xow better known as Piiira. 

- Inhabitants of tlie warm valleys on the coast. 



of Huancabamba, where tliere were still larger buildings than 
in Caxas, for here the Yncas had their forces^ and amongst 
the buildings there is a great fortress which I saw^ but it 
was then in ruins. In Huaucabamba there was a temple 
of the suuj with a number of women. The people of the 
surrounding districts came to worship and offer gifts at this 
temple, and the virgins and priests were held in great 
reverence and esteem. The tribute of the chiefs of all 
these provinces was brought here, and was forwarded to 
Cuzco when orders came to that effect. Beyond Huau- 
cabamba there are other buildings and villages, some of 
them under the jurisdiction of Loxa, while the natives of 
others have been granted in eMcomienda to the citizens of 
San Miguel. In times past these Indians had wars amongst 
themselves, and for very slight causes they killed each 
other and seized the women. It is even said that they 
went naked, and that some of them ate human flesh, like 
the natives of the province of Popayan. Wlien the Yncas 
conquered and subjugated them, they lost many of these 
customs, and adopted the polity which they now have. 
Thus their villages were ordered after a different fashion to 
that which had formerly prevailed. They wear clothes 
made of fine wool from their flocks, and now instead of eat- 
ing hvmian flesh, they detest the practice and hold it to be 
a great sin. Although they are so near the tribes of 
Puerto Viejo and Guayaquil, they do not commit the 
abominable sin. They declare that, before they were sub- 
jugated by the Ynca Yupanqui and by Tupac Ynca his 
son, who was father of Huayna Ccapac, and grandfather 
of Atahualpa, they defended their liberties so resolutely, 
that many thousands were killed, and as many of the 
Orcjones of Cuzco ; but they were so closely pressed that, 
to escape dcstructi(m, certain of their chiefs, in the name of 
the rest, gave in their submission to the Lords Yncas. 
The men of these districts arc dark, and good looking, and 


botli they and tlio women clothe themselves in the way 
they learnt from the Yncas^ their ancient lords. In some 
parts they wear the hair very long, and in others short and 
plaited in very small plaits. If any hairs grow on the chin, 
they pull them out, and, strange to say, this is done 
wherever Indians are met with in these lands. They all 
understand the general language of Cuzco, but they also 
have their own particular languages, as I have already 
said. There used to be great flocks of llamas, the sheep of 
Peru, but now there are very few, owing to the way the 
Spaniards have destroyed them. The clothes of these 
Indians are of llama wool, and also of vicuna wool, which is 
better and finer. There are also some guanacos, which 
frequent the desert heights. Those who cannot get clothes 
made of wool, use cotton. In the valleys and inhabited 
meadows there are many rivers and small brooks, and some 
fountains with good and wholesome water. In all parts 
there is herbage for flocks and plenty of provisions for man. 
There are priests in most of these districts, who, if they 
live well and abstain from evil, as their religion requires, 
will reap great fruits. By the will of God, this is done in the 
greater part of the kingdom, and many Indian lads have 
become Christians, who, by their example, attract others. 

The ancient temples, which are generally called huacas, 
are now ruined and desecrated, the idols are broken, and 
the devil is thus badly wounded in these places. Where he 
was once, for the sins of men, so reverenced and esteemed, 
the cross is now planted. Truly we Spaniards should ever 
give infinite praise to our Lord Grod for this. 




In wliich the narrative is continued down to the foundation of the city 
of San Miguel, and who was the founder. Also of the difference of 
the seasons in this kingdom of Peru, wliich is a notable tiling ; and 
how it does not rain along the whole length of these plains, which 
are on the coast of the South Sea. 

The city of San Miguel is the first tliat was founded in 
this kingdom^ by the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro; and 
here the first temple was raised in honour of God our 
Lord. To describe the coast valleys, I must begin with 
the valley of Tumbez, through which flows a river which 
rises (as I have before said) in the province of Paltas, 
and falls into the South Sea. The land of this vaUey 
of Tumbez is naturally very dry and sterile, but it some- 
times rains, and showers even extend to near the city 
of San Miguel. But these showers take place in the parts 
nearest to the mountains, and it never rains in the vicinity 
of the sea coast. The valley of Tumbez was formerly 
thickly peopled and well cultivated, full of beautiful fresh 
watercourses drawn from the river to irrigate the land, and 
yielded maize and other things necessary for the support of 
man, besides plenty of delicious fruit. The ancient chiefs 
of the valley, before they were subjugated by the Yncas, 
were dreaded and obeyed by their subjects in a greater 
degree than any other chiefs of whom I have yet written, 
as is notorious to all, and they were served with much cere- 
mony. They dressed in mantles and shirts, and wore an 
ornament on their heads, consisting of a circlet of wool 
adorned with pieces of gold and silver, and very small 
beads, called cliaqnira. These Indians were addicted to 
their religion, and were groat sacrificers, as is stated at 
large in my account of the founding of the cities of Puerto 
Viejo and Guaytujuil. They are very industrious labourers 


in the fieldsj and carry heavy burdens. They till the ground 
in concert, with beautiful regularity, and raise maize and 
many kinds of well-tasted roots. The maize yields a harvest 
twice in the year, and the beans and peas also come up 
abundantly when they are sown. Their clothes are made 
of cotton, which they grow in the valley, according to the 
quantity they require. These natives of Tumbez also have 
a great fishery, from which they derive no small profit, for 
with it, and their trade to the mountains, they have always 
been rich. From this valley of Tumbez a journey of two 
days brings the traveller to the valley of Solana, which 
was thickly peopled in former days, and contained edifices 
and store-houses. The royal road of the Yncas passes 
through these valleys, with pleasant shady trees on either 
side. Leaving Solana, the road next comes to Pocheos, on 
a river also called Pocheos, though some call it the Mayca- 
huilca, because there is a chief or lord of that name in the 
valley. This valley was once very thickly populated indeed, 
as we are led to suppose from the numerous remains of great 
buildings. These buildings, though now in ruins, prove 
that the valley was as populous as the natives describe, and 
they also show the great estimation in which the Kings 
Yncas held this place, for here there were royal palaces and 
other buildings. Time and wars have so entirely obliterated 
them that nothing can be seen noAV but vast numbers of 
great tombs of those dead who once cultivated all the fields 
in this valley. Two more days^ journey beyond Pocheos 
bring us to the great and wide valley of Piura, where two 
or three rivers unite, which is the reason why this valley is 
so broad. In it is built the city of San Miguel. Although this 
city is now held in little estimation, the rejjartimientos being 
small and poor, it is just to remember that it deserves 
privileges and honour, because it was the beginning of all the 
cities that have since been built, and is on the site selected 
by the brave Spaniards, before the great lord Atahualpa 


was seized by them. At first the city was founded on the 
site called Tangarara^ which was abandoned on account of 
its unhealthiness. It is now built between two very plea- 
sant level valleys, full of trees. It is said to be rather 
unhealthy, and the people suffer in their eyes from the 
wind and dust of summer and the dampness of winter. 
They say that it never rains in this district, but some 
dew falls from heaven, and, at intervals of a few years, 
a heavy shower of rain comes down. The valley is like 
that of Tumbez, and there are many vines, figs, and other 
trees of Spain growing in it. This city of San Miguel was 
founded by the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor 
of Peru, then called New Castile, in the name of his Majesty, 
and in the year of our Lord 1531. 

Before going any further, it seems well that I should say 
what I have learnt in the matter of there being no rain. 
In the mountains summer commences in April, and lasts 
during May, June, July, August, and September. In Oc- 
tober winter begins, and lasts during November, December, 
January, February, and March, so that there is little dif- 
ference in the seasons between this land and our Spain. 
The fields are ploughed in the proper seasons, and the days 
and nights are almost equal. The time when the days 
increase a little and are longest, is during the month of 
November. But in the coast valleys bordering on the 
South Sea, the seasons are opposite to what I have here 
described; for when it is summer in the mountains it is 
winter on the coast, where we begin the summer in October, 
lasting till April, and then the winter commences. It is 
truly a strange thing to consider this great difference in the 
same country. What is still more worthy of note is, that 
you may start in the morning from a country where it is 
raining, and, before vespers, you will find yourself in another 
where it never rains. From the beg-innina: of October it 


never rains in any of the coast valleys, except in such small 
showers as scarcely to lay the dust. For this reason the 
inhabitants are dependent upon irrigation, and do not 
cultivate more land than what the rivers can irrigate, for 
everywhere else (by reason of the sterility) not even a blade 
of grass will grow, but all is an intensely dry, stony, or 
sandy waste, where nothing is seen but a tree with few 
leaves and no fruit. In some parts there are thorn bushes 
and cacti, in others nothing but sand. What they call 
winter on the coast is nothing more than the season when 
clouds arise, which look as if they were charged with plenty 
of rain, but nothing comes of it save a drizzle so light that 
it barely damps the ground. It is a strange thing that 
though, as I have said, the heavens are well charged with 
clouds, yet it does not rain more than these slight showers. 
At the same time, some days pass during which the sun is 
not seen, being concealed by the thickness of the clouds. 
As the mountains are so high, and the coast valleys so low, 
it would appear that the former attract the clouds to them- 
selves without allowing them to abide in the low lands. 
And when it is the natural time for rain, it falls in the 
mountains, while there is none in the plains, but, on the 
contrary, great heat. On the other hand, the Kght showers 
fall on the coast when the region of the mountains is clear 
and rainless. 

There is another curious thing, which is that there is 
only one wind on this coast, and that is from the south ; 
and although the wind from that quarter is moist and 
attracts rain in other countries, it is not so here, and this 
wind prevails continually along the coast as far as Tumbez. 
Further up the coast, as there are other winds, it rains, and 
the winds are accompanied by heavy showers. I do not 
know the natural reason for these things, but it is clear that 
this sterile rainless region extends from 4° south of the 
equinoctial Hue to beyond the tropic of Capricorn. 


Another thing, very worthy of note, is, that on the 
equinoctial line in some parts it is hot and moist, and in 
others cold and dry; but this land of the coast of Peru 
is hot and dry, while on either side it rains. I have gathered 
all this from what I have myself seen, and he who can 
assign natural reasons for these things, let him do so. As 
for me, I have said what I saw, and can do no more.^ 


Concerning the road which the Yncas ordered to be made along these 
coast valleys, with buildings and depots like those in the mountains ; 
and why these Indians are called Yuncas. 

That my writings may be conducted with all possible 
regularity, I wish, before returning, to conclude what there 

' Nearly all travellers, from Cieza de Leon downwards, who have been 
on the west coast of South America, have had something to say concern- 
ing the rainless region of Peru: but "the natural reasons for these 
things," for which our author asks, are given in the most agreeable form 
in Captain INIaury's charming book. " Though the Peruvian shores are 
on the verge of the great South Sea boiler, yet it never rains there. The 
reason is plain. The south-east trade winds in the Atlantic ocean strike 
the water on the coast of Africa. They blow obliquely across the ocean 
until they reach the coast of Brazil. By tliis time they are heavily laden 
with vapour, which they continue to bear along across the continent, 
depositing it as they go, and supplying with it the sources of the Rio de 
la Plata and the southern tributaries of the Amazon. Finally they reach 
the snow capped Andes, and here is -wrung from them the hist jiarticle of 
moisture that the very low temperature can extract. Reaching the 
summit of that range, they now tumble down as cool and dry winds on 
the Pacific slopes beyond. ]\Ieeting wdth no evaporating surface, and 
with no temperature colder than that to which they are subjected on the 
mountain tops, they reach the ocean before they again become charged 
with fresli vapom-, and before, therefore, they have any which the Peru- 
vian climate can extract. The last they had to spare was deposited as 
snow on the tops of the Cordilleras, to feed mountain streams under the 
heat of the sun, and irrigate the valleys on the western slopes." Physical 
G'eocjraphi/ of the Sea, para. 195. See also Acosta's way of accounting for 


is to be said about the provinces in the mountains, and 
to relate what is worthy of remark on the coast, which, as 
I have said in other parts, is important. In this place I 
will give an account of the grand road which the Yncas 
ordered to be made along the coast valleys, which, although 
now it is in ruins in many places, still shows how grand a 
work it once was, and how great was the power of those 
who ordered it to be made. 

Huayna Ccapac, and Tupac Ynca Yupauqui, his father, 
were those who, according to the Indians, descended to the 
coast and visited all the valleys and provinces of the Yuncas, 
although some say that Ynca Yupanqui, the grandfather of 
Huayna Ccapac and father of Tupac Ynca, was the first 
who saw the coast and traversed its deserts. The Caciques 
and officers, by order of the Yncas, made a road fifteen 
feet wide through these coast valleys, with a strong wall 
on each side. The whole space of this road was smooth 
and shaded by trees. These trees, in many places, spread 
their branches laden with fruit over the road, and many 
birds fluttered amongst the leaves. In every valley there 
was a principal station for the Yncas, with depots of pro- 
visions for the troops. If anything was not ready, a severe 
punishment was inflicted, and if any of those whose duty it 
was to traverse the road, entered the fields or dwellings 
of the Indians, although the damage they did was small, 
they were ordered to be put to death. The walls on each 
side extended from one place to another, except where the 
sand drifted so high that the Indians could not pave the 
road with cemeut, when huge posts, hke beams, were driven 
in at regular intervals to point out the way. Care was 
taken to keep the road clean, to renew any part of the walls 
that was out of repair, and to replace any of the posts 
which might be displaced by the Avind in the deserts. 

the absence of rain on the Peruvian coast, in Ms Historla jVcUural y Moral 
de las Indias^ a.d. 1608, lib. iii, cap. 23. 


This coast road was certainly a great work, though not so 
difficult as that over the mountains.^ There were some 
fortresses and temples of the sun, which I shall mention in 
their proper places. As, in many parts of the work, I shall 
have to use the words Ynca and Ytinca, I will satisfy the 
reader as to the meaning of Yiinca, as I have already done 
with regard to Ynca. He vdll understand, then, that the 
towns and provinces of Peru are situated in the manner I 
have already described, many of them in the openings 
formed by the snowy mountains of the Andes. 

All those who hve in these mountains are called 8erranos, 
and those who inhabit the coast are called Yuncas ; and in 
many parts of the mountains where the rivers flow, as the 
mountains are very high, the plains are sheltered and warm, 
and in some of them there is as much heat as there is on 
the coast. The inhabitants who live in these warm valleys 
and plains, although they are strictly in the mountains, are 
also called Yuncas. Throughout Peru, when they speak of 
these warm and sheltered places between the mountains, 
they call them Yuncas, and the inhabitants have no other 
name, though they may have in their own districts. Thus, 
those who live in the parts already mentioned, and all who 
live in the coast valleys of Peru, are called Yuncas, because 
they live in a warm land. 

> Zarate thus describes this coast road of the Yncas. " Tlirough all 
the valleys of the coast which are refreshed by rivers and trees (which 
are generally about a league in breadth) they made a road almost 
forty feet broad, with very thick embankments on either side. After 
leaving the valleys the same road was continued over the sandy deserts, 
posts being driven in and fastened by cords, so that the traveller might 
not lose his way, neither turning to one side nor to the other. Tlie road, 
like that in the Sierra, is five hundred leagues long. Although the posts 
in the desert are now broken in many parts, because the Spaniards, both 
in time of war and peace, used them for lighting fires, yet the embank- 
ments in tlie valleys are still for the most part entire." Hlstoria del Peru., 
lib. i, caj). X. Garcilasso de la Vega^ in his account of the Ynca roads, 
merely coi)ies from Zarate and Cieza de Leon (i, lib. ix, cap. U?). See 
also Gomara (cap. 194). 



How these Yuncas -were very superstitious, and how they were divided 
into nations and lineages. 

Before I proceed to describe the valleys of the coast, and 
the founding of the three cities, of the Kings, of Truxillo, 
and of Arequipa, I will here recount a few things, that I 
may not have to repeat them over again, both those I saw 
myself, and those which I learned from Fray Domingo de 
Santo Tomas. This friar is one of those who understand 
the language well, and he has been a long time among the 
Indians, teaching them the truths of our holy catholic 
faith. Thus, my account of these coast valleys will be 
founded on what I saw and learned when I travelled 
through them myself, and on the information given me by 
Fray Domingo.^ 

The native lords of these valleys were, in ancient times, 
feared and obeyed by their subjects, who served them with 
much ceremony, according to their usage. These lords 
were attended by buffoons and dancers, who were always 
jesting, while others played and sang. They had many 
wives, taking care that they should be the prettiest that 
could be found. Each lord had a great building in his 
valley, with many adobe pillars, extensive terraces, and 
doorways hung with matting. Round the building there 
was an open space where they had their dances. When 
the lord ate, a great concourse of people assembled, and 
drank their beverage made from maize or from roots. 

In these buildings there were porters,, whose duty it was 
to guard the doors and see who entered or came out. All 
were clothed in cotton shirts and long mantles, the women 
as well as the men, except that the dress of the women was 

• Fray Domingo de Santo Tomas was the author of the first Quichua 
grammar, which was printed at Yalladohd in 1660, with a vocabulary. 


large and broad like a morning gown, with openings at the 
sides for the arms. Some of the lords waged war upon 
each other, and in some parts the people were never able 
to learn the language of Cuzco. Although there were 
three or four tribes of these Yuncas, they all had the same 
rites and customs. They spent many days and nights at 
their banquets and drinking bouts ; and certainly it is 
marvellous the quantity of chicha that these Indians drink, 
indeed the glass is scarcely ever out of their hands. They 
used to receive the Spaniards with great hospitality when 
they passed near their dwellings, and to treat them honour- 
ably. Now they do not do so, because, when the Spaniards 
broke the peace, and contended with each other in civil 
wars, they were detested by the Indians on account of the 
cruel way in which they treated them, and also because 
some of the governors have been guilty of such meanness, 
that the Indians no longer treat those well who pass near 
their dwellings, pretending to think that those are servants 
whom they used to treat as lords. The fault lies in those 
who have been sent here to govern, some of whom have 
considered that the old order of things was bad, and that 
it was wrong to keep the natives under their ancient polity, 
which, if it had been preserved, would neither have destroyed 
their hberties, nor failed to bring them nearer to the way 
of good hving and conversion ; for it appears to me that 
few nations in the world had a better government than 
these Yncas. I approve of nothing in the present rule, but 
rather deplore the extortion, cruel treatment, and violent 
deaths with which the Spaniards have visited these Indians, 
without considering the nobility and great virtue of their 

Nearly all the rest of these valleys are now almost 
deserted, having once been so densely peopled, as is well 
known to many persons. 



How the Indians of these valleys and of other pai'ts of tlic conntiy 
believe that souls leave the bodies, and do not die : and why tliey 
desired their wives to be buried with them. 

Many times in tliis history I have said that, in the greater 
part of the kingdom of Peru, it is a custom much used and 
observed by all the Indians to inter, with their dead, all 
their precious things, and some of the most beautiful and 
best-beloved of their wives. It appears that this custom 
was observed in other parts of the Indies, from which it 
may be inferred that the devil manages to deceive one set 
of people in the same way as he does another. I was in 
Genu, which falls within the province of Carthagena, in the 
year 1535, when so vast a quantity of burial places were 
found on a level plain, near a temple raised in honour of the 
accursed devil, that it was a thing worthy of admiration. 
Some of them were so ancient, that there were tall trees 
growing on them, and they got more than a milhon from 
these sepulchres, besides what the Indians took, and what 
was lost in the ground. In other parts great treasure has 
been, and is every day, found in the tombs. It is not many 
years since Juan de la Torre, who was Gonzalo Pizarro^s 
captain in the valley of Yea, which -is one of the Peruvian 
coast valleys, found one of these tombs, from which those 
who entered it affirm that he took more than 50,000 dollars.^ 

• Juan de la Torre was one of the famous thirteen who crossed the Une 
which Pizarro clrew on the sandy sliore of the isle of Gallo, and re- 
solved to face any hardsliips rather than abandon the enterprise. He 
afterwards became a staunch adlierent of Pizarro's younger brother Gon- 
zalo, to whom he deserted, when serving under the ill-fated Blasco Xufiez 
de Vela, and he carried liis ferocious enmity to the viceroy so far as to 
insult the dead body, and, pulUng the hairs out of the beard, to stick 
them in his hat band. He married the daughter of an Indian chief in the 
province of Puerto Yiejo, and gained so much influence among the followers 
of his father-in-law that they revealed to hkn a tomb containing, as Cieza 


The custom of these Indians, in ordering magnificent and 
lofty tombs to be made, adorned with tiles and vaulted 
roofs, and in burying with the dead all his goods, his wives, 
great store of victuals, and no small quantity of cliicha (or 
wine used by them), with their arms and ornaments, leads 
us to believe that they had some knowledge of the im- 
mortality of the soul, and of there being more in man than 
his mortal body. Deceived by the devil, they obey his 
commands, and he (according to their own account) gives 
them to understand that, after death, they will be brought 
to life in another place which is prepared for them, where 
they wiU eat and drink at their pleasure, as they did before 
they died. In order that they may believe that what he 
tells them is true, and not false and deceitful, he sometimes, 
when the will of God is served by giving him the power 
and permitting it, takes the form of some one of the dead 
chiefs, and, showing himself in the chief's proper shape and 
figure, such as he had when in this world, gives them to 
understand that the said chief is in another pleasant world 
in the form in which they there see him. Owing to these 

de Leon says, more than fifty thousand dollars worth of gold and emeralds. 
Thus enriched, he meditated a retreat to Spain, where he might enjoy his 
wealth, but the fear of punislmient for liis treason to the viceroy, and 
other considerations, deterred him. He first proposed to Vela Xuiiez, 
the viceroy's brother, that they shovild seize a ship and escape from Peru ; 
and, afterwards, hearmg a false report that Gonzalo Pizarro had been 
appointed governor by the king, he changed liis mind in the hope of 
receiving great favours from his old commander. But Vela Nuuez knew 
of his earlier project to desert, so, mindful of the adage that " dead 
men tell no tales," La Torre invented such a story against the vice- 
roy's brother as induced Gonzalo to cut off his head. The villain was 
appointed captain of arquebusiers in the army of Gonzalo Pizarro, and 
acted a conspicuous and cruel part in the subsequent war down to the 
final overthrow of Gonzalo by Pedro de la Gasca in 1548. Then at last 
he received a reward more in accordance v.-ith his deserts. After liiding 
for four months in an Indian's hut near Cuzco, he was at last accidentally 
found out l)y a Spaniard, and met the fate whicli lie so riclily deserved. 
lie was hung ]iy order of La (rasc-a. 


sayings and illusions of tlio devil, certain of these Indians, 
holding all these false appearances to be realities, take more 
pains in adorning their sepulchres or tombs than in any- 
other thing. 

When a ctief dies, they bury him with his treasure; and 
his wives, youths, and persons with whom he had much 
friendship when alive, are also buried. From what I have 
said, it seems that it was the general opinion of all these 
Indians Yuncas, and even of those in the territory of this 
kingdom of Peru, that the souls of the dead did not die, 
but lived for ever, and that they would all meet each other, 
and eat and drink, which is their chief delight. 

Holding these opinions for certain, they buried with dead 
men their most beloved wives and most trusted servants, 
together with all their arms, treasures, plmnes, and other 
personal ornaments. Many of the companions of a dead 
chief, for whom there was no room in the tomb, would make 
holes in the fields belonging to him, or in the places where 
he used generally to hold festivals, and there be buried, 
thinking that his soul would pass by these places and take 
them in his company to do him service. And some of the 
women, in order that their faithful service might be held in 
more esteem, finding that there was delay in completing the 
tomb, would hang themselves up by their own hair, and so 
kill themselves. 

We believe that all these things are done, because the 
accounts of the Indians concerning them are confirmed by 
the contents of the tombs, and because, in many parts, the 
Indians believe in and retain their accursed customs. I 
recollect, when I was in the government of Carthagena, 
more than twelve or thirteen years ago, the hcentiate Juan 
de Vadillo being then governor and judge, that a boy came 
from a village called Pirina, and fled to the place where 
Vadillo then was, because they wanted to bury him ahve 
with the chief of the village, who died at that time. 


Alaya^ who was lord of the greater part of the valley of 
Xauxa, died about two years ago, and they say that a great 
number of women and servants were buried alive with him. 
If I am not deceived, they told this to the president Grasca, 
and though he gave the other chiefs to understand that 
they had committed a great sin, his discourse was without 

All over Peru they call the devil Snjjay} I have heard 
that he has been seen by them many times. They even 
affirm that in the valley of Lile he entered the bodies 
stuffed with cinders that are there, saying many things to 
the people. 

Friar Domingo, who is (as I have already said) a notable 
searcher into these secrets, relates that when a certain person 
was sent to call Don PauUu,^ the son of Huayna Ccapac, 
whom the people received as Ynca, he heard a servant say 
that, near the fortress of Cuzco, there were loud voices crying 
with a great noise, "Why, Ynca, dost thou not observe 
the customs that thou art bound to observe. Eat and drink, 

• Supay is the Quichua word for the evil spirit in which the ancient 
Peruvians beheved. 

2 Paullu was a son of the great Ynca Huayna Ccapac. lie escaped 
from his half-brother Atahualpa, when many of the royal family were 
killed by that usurper, and, soon after the arrival of the Spaniards, was 
baptized under the name of Clu-istoval. He accompanied Almagroin his 
expedition to Chile, and his services on that occasion were of the utmost 
importance to the Spaniards. While in Chile he received tidings from 
his brother ]\Ianco of his resolution to rise in arms and expel the invaders; 
but Paullu deemed it most prudent to dissimulate until the expedition, 
in which he was serving, returned to Peru. He afterwards lived for 
many years at Cuzco, in the palace built by Manco Ccapac, the founder 
of liis house, on a hill called the Colcampata. The ruins of this edifice 
are still very perfect. After the death of his brother IManco, Paullu was 
looked upon by the Indians as their legitimate Ynca. His son, named 
Carlos, was a schoolfellow of the historian Garcilasso de la Vega, and 
afterwards married a Spanish lady whose parents were settled at Cuzco ; 
and his gi-andi-on Don IMolchior Carlos Ynca went to Spain in 1602, and 
became a knight of Santiago. 


for soon thou must cease .to eat and drink." These voices 
were heard by him who was sent to Don PauUu, during five 
or six nights. Such are the wiles of the devil, and the nooses 
with which he arms himself, to catch the souls of those who 
esteem sorcerers so highly. 

All the chiefs and Indians of the coast valleys have 
peculiar head-dresses, by which one tribe is known from 

another ^ In our time they are abandoning their old 

rites, and the devil has neither influence, nor temple, nor 
public oracle among them, for they are finding out his 
deceitfulness ; so that they are not now so bad as they were 
before they heard the word of the holy gospel. But this 
will not avail if the grace of God does not lessen their 
eating, drinking, and lasciviousness, in which they are 
engaged day and night without tiring. 


How they buried their dead, and how they moiu-ned for them, at the 
performance of their obsequies. 

In the previous chapter I recounted all there is to be said 
concerning the belief of these Indians in the immortality of 
the soul, and what the enemy of the human race makes 
them think concerning it. It now seems good to me that 
in this place I should give some account of their mode of 
burying their dead. 

In this there are great difiereuces, for in some parts they 
make holes, in others they place their dead on heights, in 
others on level ground, and each nation seeks some new 
way of making tombs. Certain it is that, though I have 
made many inquiries, and talked with learned and curious 

' Unfit for translation. 


men, I have not been able to ascertain the origin of these 
Indians, nor of their customs. 

These Indians, then, have various ways of constructing 
their tombs. In the Collao^ (as I shall relate in its place) 
they make them in the cultivated land in the form of 
towers, some large and others small, and some built with 
great skill. These towers have their doors opening towards 
the rising sun, and near them (as I will also relate pre- 
sently) they were accustomed to make sacrifices and to 
burn certain things, sprinkling the towers with the blood of 
lambs and of other animals. 

In the district round Cuzco they bury their dead in a 
sitting posture, on cei'tain seats called diihos, dressed and 
adorned with their most precious ornaments.^ 

^ The Collao Ls the great plateau of the Andes, including the basin of 
lake Titicaca, between two chains, the maritime cordillera, and the east- 
ern range, out of which rise the lofty peaks of Illunani and Yllampu 

2 The obsequies of the Yncas at Cuzco were celebrated with great 
pomp. The bodies were embahned with such extraordinary skill that they 
appeared to be alive, and were seated on thrones within the great temple 
of the sun. The bowels were deposited in golden vases, and preserved in 
a temple at Tanipu (twelve miles from the capital) ; just as the Emperors 
of Austria have their bodies biu-ied in one church at Vienna, their hearts 
kept in silver pots in another, and their bowels deposited in St. Stephen's. 
The corregidor Polo de Ondegardo found five bodies of Yncas at Cuzco, 
three of men and two of women, said to have been those of the Ynca 
Huira-ccocha, with hair white as snow, of the great Tupac Ynca Yupan- 
(jui, of Huayna Ccapac, of Huira-ccocha's queen Mama Runtu, and of 
Ccoya Mama OcUo, the mother of Huayna Ccapac. These bodies were 
so well preserved that all the haii", eyebrows, and even eyelashes re- 
mained intact. They were dressed in royal robes, with the Umotii, or royal 
fringe round their foreheads. They seem to have excited much curiosity, 
were conveyed by order of the viceroy INIarquis of Canete to Lima, and 
finally buried in the coiu-tyard of the hospital of San Andres in that city. 

The chiefs were buried in tombs of stone masonry on the mountain 
heiglits round Cuzco. A very peculiar kind of maize is often found in 
the tombs, now little cultivated, called Zea rostraia. The bodies, which 
are in a squatting i)osture with the knees forced up to the head, are found 
enveloped in many folds of cloth, over which is placed a mat of reeds, 


In the province of Xauxa, which is a very important part 
of these kingdoms of Peru, they sew their dead up in fresh 
sheep skins, with the face exposed, and thus they are kept 
in their own houses. The bodies of chiefs and principal 
men are, at certain seasons of the year, taken out by their 
sons, and carried to the cultivated fields and homesteads in 
a litter with great ceremony, and sacrifices of sheep and 
lambs, and even of women and boys, are offered up. When 
the archbishop Don Hieronymo de Loaysa^ heard of this, 
he sent strict orders to the Indians of the district, and to 
the clergy who were there teaching the doctrine of the 
church, that all the bodies were to be immediately buried. 

In many other provinces, through Avhich I have passed, 
they bury their dead in very deep holes, while in others, as 

secured by a strong net. The covering next the body is generally of fine 
cotton ; round the neck there is almost invariably a small household god, 
called Co7iopa in Quichua, made of clay, stone, silver, or gold ; and a 
piece of copper, gold, or silver is often found in the mouth. The hair is, 
in most instances, well preserved, but the skin is withered up. None of 
the thousands of bodies that have been examined, show any signs of 
having been embalmed. It seems clear that tliis operation was only re- 
sorted to in the case of the Yncas themselves. G. de la Vega; Rivero, 
Antiq. Per. ; Personal Observation. 

' Fray Geronimo Loayza was appointed bishop of Lima in 1540, and was 
the first archbishop from 1548 to 1575. When Gonzalo Pizarro rebelled, 
he sent the archbisliop as his envoy to Spain, but, meeting La Gasca 
at Panama on his way, that prelate returned with him, and accompanied 
him tlu-oughout the campaign, which ended in the overthrow of Gonzalo 
Pizarro in 1548. This Friar Loayza was a cruel fanatic. The inquisition 
was not introduced into Peru until 1569, but the archbishoiJ had pre- 
viously held tlu'ee autos clefe at Luna on his own account, at one of which 
John IMillar, a Fleming, was burnt as a Lutheran heretic. The first 
auto defe held by the inquisition at Lima took place in 1573, two years 
before the death of Loayza, when a Frenclmian was burnt as a heretic. 
Loayza presided over two provincial comicils, one in 1552 and the other 
in 1567. There have been twenty-two archbishops of Lima since the 
death of Loayza. The present one, Dr. Don Sebastian de Goyeneche, 
who succeeded in I860, is probably the oldest bishop in Clu-istendom, 
having been consecrated bishop of Arequipa in 1817, and is also one of 
the richest men in South America. He is now seventy-nine years of age. 



those within the jurisdiction of the city of Antioquia, they 
pile up such masses of earth in making their tombs, that 
they look like small hills. A door is left through which 
they pass in the body, the live women, and all the things 
that are buried with it. In Genu many of the tombs are 
level and large, with courtyards, and others are like rocks 
or small hills. 

In the province of Chincha, which is one of the coast 
valleys of Peru, they bury their dead on beds made of canes.' 
In another of these valleys, called Runa-huanac,~ they bury 
their dead sitting. These Indians also differ in the way 
they inter the bodies, some of them putting them feet first, 
and others in a sitting posture. 

The Indians of many of these coast valleys have great 
walls made, where the rocks and barren mountains com- 
mence, in the way from the valleys to the Sierra. In these 
places each family has its established place for burying its 
dead, where they dig great holes and excavations, with 
closed doors before them. It is certainly a marvellous 
thing to see the great quantity of dead bodies that there are 
in these sandy and barren mountains, with their clothes 
now worn out and mouldering away with time. They call 
these places, which they hold to be sacred, Huaca,^ a 

' The nation of the Chinchas, and others on the coast, bnried their 
dead on the surface of the ground, covered with a light coat of sand, so 
tliat the place is only indicated by a very slight inequality. Rivero, p. 199. 

' Now corrupted into Luna-huana ; near the rich sugar estates of 
Canete, between Lima and Pisco. 

' Iluaca is a word of many significations in Quichua {e.g.^ idol, temple, 
sacred place, tomb, figures of men, anunals, etc., hill), but its most ordi- 
nary meaning is a tomb. Cieza de Leon probably calls it a " mournful 
name," partly from its being the word for a tomb, and partly from his 
having confused it -with the nearly similar word huaccani^ " I mourn." 
The mummy or dead body was called malqui. There were holes in the 
tombs, leading from the exterior sides to the vases placed round the 
bodies, through which the Indians poured liquor, on the days when festi- 
vals were held in honour of the malquis. Rivero. 


mournful name. Many have been opened, and the Span- 
iards, when they conquered the country, found a great 
quantity of gold and silver in them. In these valleys the 
custom is very general of burying precious things with the 
dead, as well as many women and the most confidential 
servants possessed by the chief when alive. In former 
times they used to open the tombs, and renew the clothes 
and food which were placed in them ; and when a chief died 
the principal people of the valley assembled, and made great 
lamentations. Many women cut off their hair until none 
was left, and came forth with drums and flutes, making 
mournful sounds, and singing in those places where the 
dead chief used to make merry, so as to make the hearers 
weep. Having made their lamentations, they offered up more 
sacrifices, and had superstitious communion with the devil. 
Having done this, and killed some of the women, they put 
them in the tomb, with the treasure and no small quantity 
of food ; holding it for certain that they would go to that 
country concerning which the devil had told them. They 
had, and still have, the custom of mourning for the dead 
before the body is placed in the tomb, during four, five, or 
six days, or ten, according to the importance of the deceased, 
for the greater the lord the more honour do they show him, 
lamenting with much sighing and groaning, and playing 
sad music. They also repeat all that the dead man had 
done while living, in their songs ; and if he was valiant they 
recount his deeds in the midst of their lamentations. When 
they put the body into the tomb, they burn some ornaments 
and cloths near it, and put others with the body. 

Many of these ceremonies are now given up, because 
God no longer permits it, and because by degrees these 
people are finding out the errors of their fathers, and how 
little these vain pomps and honours serve them. They are 
learning that it suffices to inter the bodies in common 
graves, as Christians are interred, without taking anything 


with them other than good works. In truth^ all other things 
but serve to please the devil, and to send the soul down to 
hell more heavily weighted. Nevertheless, most of the old 
chiefs order that their bodies are to be buried in the manner 
above described, in secret and hidden places, that they may 
not be seen by the Christians ; and that they do this is 
known to us from the talk of the younger men. 



How tlicy have a custom of naming children, in most of these provinces, 
and how they sought after sorceries and charms. 

One thing that I observed during the time that I was in 
these kingdoms of Peru was, that they are accustomed to 
name their children, in most of the provinces, when they are 
fifteen or twenty days old. This name is retained until 
they are ton or twelve years old, when they receive another, 
the relations and friends of the father having previously 
been assembled on a certain day which is set apart for such 
purposes. They dance and drink according to their usual 
custom, and then one of them, who is the oldest and most 
respected, cuts the hair and nails of the boy or girl who 
receives the new name. The hair and nails arc preserved 
with great care. The names which they receive are those 
of villages, birds, plants, or fish.- 

' This chapter is unfit for translation. 

2 'riu' children were weaned at two years of age, when their heads were 


1 learnt these particulars because an Indian servant whom 
I employed was called Urco,^ which means sheep ; another 
was called Llama, also a name for sheep ; and another 
P'lscu, which means a bird. Some of the Indians are care- 
ful to retain the names of their fathers and grandfathers. 
The chiefs and principal men seek out names according to 
their pleasure. For Atahualita (the Ynca whom the Span- 
iards captured in the province of Caxamarca) means " a 
fowl," and his father was called Htiaijita Gcapac, which 
signifies "a rich youth." - 

shaved, and they received a name. On these occasions all the relations 
assembled, and one was selected as godfather, who cut off the first lock of 
hair with an instrument made of stone. Each relation followed, accord- 
ing to his age or rank, and cut off a few hairs. The name was then given, 
and the relations presented gifts, such as cloth, llamas, arms, or drinking 
vessels. Then followed singing, dancing, and drinking until nightfall, 
and these festivities were continued for three or four days. G. de la Vega, 
lib. iv, cap. 11 ; Rivero, p. 177. 

' Urco is a word denoting masculine gender, in Quichua, when applied 
to animals, and china is female. For mankind the words denoting gender 
are ccari (male) and huarmi (female). 

2 Garcilasso de la Vega says that, as they had no domestic fowls in 
Peru before the Spanish conquest, so there was no word for them, and 
that hualiM was not originally the name for a fowl, but a corruption of 
Atahual'pa, the name of the usurping Ynca. It seems, however, that 
domestic fowls were the first things that the Spaniards introduced into 
Peru ; and the Indians, finding some resemblance between the crowing of 
the cocks and the sound of Atahualpa, gave them that name, which was 
afterwards corrupted into hualpa. Garcilasso adds, " I confess that many 
of my schoolfellows at Cuzco, the sons of Spaniards by Indian mothers, 
and myself amongst them, imitated this sound in the streets, together 
with the little Indians." 

The names of the Yncas, and those of their Avives, have a meaning in the 
Quichua language ; with the exception, however, of Manco, Mayta, and 
Rocca, which seem to have been borrowed from some other source. 
Ccapac means " rich, grand, illustrious." Sinchi signifies '^ strong." 
Lloqxie is " left-handed." Yupanqui is " vii-tuous." It is the second 
person singular, future, indicative of Yupani, and means literally, " you 
wdU count," that is — " he who bears this title will count as one who is 
excellent for his virtue, clemency, and piety." Yahuar-huaccac signifies 
•' weeping tears :" it was the name of an Ynca whose reign was imfor- 


These Indians hold it to be unlucky for a mother to 
bring forth two babes at once, or when a child is boru 
with any natural defect, such as having six fingers on 
one hand.i If these things happen, the man and his 
wife become sad, and fast, without eating ay'r or drinking 
chicha, which is their wine, and they do other things ac- 
cording to their customs, as they have learnt them from 
their fathers. 

These Indians also believe much in signs and wonders. 
If a star falls, the noise they make is prodigious. There 
are many sorcerers among them, and they take great note 
of the moon and the planets. There are some Christians 
now alive who were with the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro 
when he seized Atahualpa in the province of Caxamarca, 
and they saw a green sign in the sky, in the middle of the 
night, as broad as a cubit, and as long as a lance. When 
Atahualpa heard that the Spaniards were looking at it, he 
requested that he also might be allowed to see it j and when 
he beheld it, he became very sad, and continued so during 
the next day. The governor Don Francisco Pizarro asked 
him why he continued to be so sad, and he replied, " I 

tunate. Huira-ccocha means " foam of a lake," and Garcilasso gives the 
legend from which the name is said to have originated. Pacha-cutec 
means " overturning the world," a name given to one of the Yncas who 
was a great reformer. Tupac is anything royal, resplendent, honourable. 
Huayna means a " youth," a name given to the great Ynca Huayua 
Ccapac, possibly from his youthful aj^pearance. Huascar is a " chain," 
from the golden chain which was made to celebrate his birth. Cusi is 
" joy." Titu is " liberal, magnanimous." Sayri^ a " tobacco plant." 
Ama,ru, a "• serpent," etc. 

1 Twins, called chuchu^ and children born feet first, called chacpa^ were 
offered up to the huacas, in some districts. Rivero, p. 173. 

^ Aji or uchu^ a Chile pepper -with a very peculiar flavour (Capsicum 
frutescens, Lin.), is the favoxu-ite condiment of the Peruvian Indians, 
sometimes eaten green, and sometimes dried and pounded. The con- 
sumption of ajl is greater than that of salt ; for with two-thirds of the 
dishes, more of the former than of the latter is used. The aji pejiper was 
introduced into India by ^Irs. Clements Markham in 1861. 


have seen a sign in the sky, and I tell you that when 
my father, Huayua Ccapac, died he saw a similar sign."^ 
Within fifteen days Atahualpa was dead. 


(Jf the fertility of the land in these coast valleys, and of the many fruits 
and roots they contain. Also concerning their excellent system of 
ii-rigating the fields. 

Now that I have given as brief an account as possible of 
several things connected with our subject, it will be well to 
return to the valleys, treating of each one separately, as I 
have already done of the provinces and villages of the 
Sierra." But first I will say somewhat concerning the 
fruits, other food, and works of irrigation which are to be 
found in them. 

All the land of these valleys, which is not reached by the 
sand, forms one of the most fertile and abundant regions in 
the world, and the one best suited for cultivation. I have 
already mentioned that it does not rain, and that the water 
for irrigation is drawn from the rivers which descend from 
the mountains and fall into the South Sea. In these valleys 
the Indians sow maize,^ which is reaped twice in the year, 
and yields abundantly. In some parts they grow yucas,'^ 

1 Before the death of Huayna Ccapac, fearful comets appeared in the 
ah-, one of them very large and of a green coloiu-, and a thunder-bolt fell 
on the house of the Ynca. The amautas or leai-ned men prognosticated 
that these a-n^ul signs were the forerunners, not only of the death of 
Huayna Ccapac, but of the destruction of the empire. G. de la Vega, 
i, lib. ix, cap. 15. 

^ Or moimtainous region. 

^ Zea Mais Lin. : culled sara in Quichua. 

•• Jatropha Manihot Lin. : called aslpa or runm in Quichua. The 
yucii is still the edible root most used in the coast valleys of Peru. It 
grows to a great size, and is excellent when roasted. 


whicli are useful for making bread and liquor wlien there is 
want of maize. They also raise sweet potatoes,^ the taste 
of which is almost the same as that of chesnuts, besides 
potatoes, beans, and other vegetables. 

Throughout all the valleys there is also one of the most 
singular fruits I ever saw, called jjeiyinos, of very pleasant 
smell and taste.- There are great quantities of guayavas,^ 
guavas,^ and paltas,^ which are like pears, guanavanas,^ 
caymitos,^ and the pines of those parts. About the houses 
of the Indians many dogs are seen, which are very different 

^ Batatas eduHs, Chois. : called apichu in Quichua, and cumar in the 
Quito dialect. Dr. Seemann has pointed out to me the curious and inter- 
esting fact that kumara is also the word for sweet potatoe in Tahiti, the 
Fiji Islands, and New Zealand. 

'^ The pepino (a cucurbitacea) is grown in great abundance in the fields. 
The plant is only a foot and a haK high, and it creeps on the gi"ound. 
The fruit is from four to five inches long, cylindrical, and somewhat 
pointed at both ends. The husk is of a yellowish green colour, with long 
rose coloured stripes. The edible part is soHd, juicy, and well flavoured, 
but very indigestible. Tschudi^ p. 192. 

^ Psidium guayavn Raddi. * Inga spectahilis "Willd. 

^ Persea gratissima R. P. See note at p. 16. 

^ The guanavana is called sour sop in the West Indies {Anona muri- 
cata Lin.), where Cieza de Leon must have seen it. It has long been 
naturalized in India, as well as the A. squamosa (custard apple) and 
A. reticulata (sweet sop), and on occasions of famine these fruits have 
literally proved the staff of life to the natives in some parts of the coun- 
try. (Drury's Useful Plants of India, p. 41.) 

But the fruit which Cieza de Leon here mistakes for the guanavana or 
sour sop is, no doubt, the delicious chirimoya {^Anona ckerhnolia ISIill.) 
Von Tschudi says of it : "It would certainly be diflicult to name any 
fruit possessing a more exquisite flavour. The fruit is of a roundish 
form, somewhat pyramidal or heart-shaped, the broad base uniting with 
the stem. Externally it is green, covered with small knobs and scales. 
The skin is rather tluck and tough. Internally tlie fruit is snow-white 
and juicy, and provided with a number of black seeds. The taste is in- 
comparable. Both the fruit and flowers of the chirimoya emit a fine 
fragi-ance. The tree which bears this finest of all fruits is from fifteen 
to twenty feet high." Mrs. Clements Markham introduced the culti- 
vation of this delicious fruit into Southern India in ISGl. 

^ Chrysophillum Caimito Lin., or star apple. 


from the Spanish kind, and about the size of ordinary curs ; 
they call them rJionos} The Indians breed many ducks. 
In the thickets of these valleys there are algarohas, some- 
what long and narrow, and not so thick as the pods of 
beans.- In some parts they make bread of these algarobas, 
and it is considered good. They are very fond of drying 
such of their fruits and roots as are adapted for it, just as we 
make preserved figs, raisins, and other fruits.-^ Now there 
are many great vineyards in these valleys, where large 
harvests of grapes are gathered. No wine has yet been 
made from them, and I cannot, therefore, certify to its 
quality; but, as the land is irrigated, it will probably be 
weak.* There are now also fig-trees and pomegranates, 
and I believe, and hold for certain, that all the fruits of 
Spain may be grown here. 

Wheat is raised, and it is a beautiful sight to see the fields 
covered with crops, in a region devoid of natural supplies 
of water. Barley grows as well as wheat, and lemons, limes, 
oranges, and citrons are all excellent and plentiful. There 
are also large banana plantations ; and besides those which I 
have already enumerated, there are many other luscious 
fruits which I do not mention, because it seems sufficient to 
enumerate the principal ones. 

As the rivers descend from the mountains and flow 
through these valleys, and as some of the valleys are broad, 
while their whole extent is, or was, when the country was 

' The name for the ordinary Permian dog, in Quichua, is allco (Canis 

^ The algaroba or giiaranga {Prosopis horrida, Willd). A tree the 
bean of wliich furnishes food for mules, donkeys, and goats. 

3 The dulces or preserves of Peru are still the most dehcious in the 
world, especially those made at Cuzco. No confectionary in London or 
Paris can be compared with them. 

* Tlie vineyards of the Peruvian coast valleys have become famous for 
the delicious grape spirits called italia and pisco. In 1860 the valleys of 
Ycii and Pisco alone yielded seventy thoi^md botijas or j;irs of spirits, 
and ten thousand barrels of excellent wine. 


more thickly populated, covered with flocks, they led chan- 
nels of water in all directions, which is a remarkable thing, 
for these channels were conducted over high and low places, 
along the sides of hills and over them, some in one direction, 
some in another, so that it is a great enjoyment to travel 
in these valleys, and to pass through their orchards and 
refreshing gardens. 

The Indians had, and still have, great works for drawing 
off the water, and making it flow through certain channels. 
Sometimes it has chanced that I have stopped near one 
of these channels, and before we had finished pitching the 
tent the channel was dry, the water having been drawn off 
in another direction, for it is in the power of the Indians to 
do this at their pleasure. These channels are always very 
green, and there is plenty of grass near them for horses.^ 

' Next to the wonderful roads, these irrigating channels are the most 
convincing proofs of the advanced civihsation of the Yncas. Once nearly 
all the coast valleys were suppUed with them, and thousands of acres 
were reclaimed from the desert ; but, owing to the barbarism or neglect 
of the Spaniards, they nearly all went to ruin very soon after the con- 
quest. In one valley alone, that of Xasca (or, more properly, Nanasca^ 
" pain"), the irrigating works of the Yncas are still in working order, 
and from them an idea may be formed of the extent and grandeur of the 
pubhc works of the Yncas throughout the coast region of Peru. 

The valley of Nasca descends from the Andes by an easy and gradual 
slope, widening as it descends, and is hemmed in by lofty mountains on 
either side. It is covered with cultivation, consisting of vineyards, cotton 
plantations, fields of a;'i, maize, wheat, pmnpkins, melons, and other 
vegetables, and fruit gardens. In 1853 I examined the irrigation chan- 
nels of this valley very carefully. All that nature has supplied, in the 
way of water, is a small water course, which is frequently dry for six 
years together ; and, at the best, only a httle streamlet trickles down 
during the month of February. ITie engineering skill displayed by the 
Yncas, in remedying this defect, is astonishing. Deep trenches were cut 
along the whole length of the valley, and so far into the mountains that the 
present inhabitants have no knowledge of the place where they commence. 
High up the valley the main trenches or puquios are some fom- feet in 
height, with the floor, sides, and roof lined -ftdth stones. Lower down they 
are sejiarated into smaller pu(juios^ which ramify in every direction over 
the valley, and supply all the estates with delicious water throughout the 


In the trees and bushes many birds fly about; there are 
pigeons, doves, turkeys, pheasants, and some partridges, 
besides many deer in the thickets. But there are no evil 
things, such as serpents, snakes, and wolves. There are, 
however, many foxes, which are so cumiing that, although 
great care is taken to watch the things where the Spaniards 
or Indians encamp, they come to steal, and when they can 
find nothing better, they make off with the bridles or 
switches for the horses.^ In many parts of the valleys there 
are extensive fields of sweet cane, and they make sugar, 
treacle, and other things from it. 

All these Yunca Indians are great labourers, and when 
they carry loads they strip to the skin, until they have 

year, feeding the little streams which irrigate the fields. The larger 
puquios are several feet below the surface, and at intervals of about two 
hundred yards there are man-holes, called QJos^ by which workmen can 
get down into the channels, and clear away any obstructions. 

Further on Cieza de Leon describes other works of irrigation in the 
valley of Yea, on the same magnificent scale, which, even when he wrote, 
had already been destroyed by the barbarian Spaniards. 

The subterranean channels were called huirca in Quichua, and those 
flowing along on the surface rarca. In aU parts of the Sierra of Peru 
the remains of irrigating channels are met with, which the Spaniards 
destroyed and neglected, and thus allowed the once fertile fields to retm-n 
to their natural sterility. The principal remains of works of irrigation, 
in the Sierra, are to be found at Caxamarca and at Cerro Pasco. Garci- 
lasso de la Vega relates how the Ynca Huira-ccocha caused an aqueduct 
to be constructed, twelve feet in depth, and more than one hundred and 
twenty leagues in length. Another aqueduct was made in the province 
of Condesuyos (Cunti-suyu), which was more than fifty-five leagues long. 
The Ynca historian justly exclaims : " These are works worthy of the 
grandeur of such princes. They are equal to the finest works of the kind 
in the world, considering the enormous rocks which were cut through to 
form them, without iron or steel tools. When a deep ravine crossed the 
intended course of the aqueduct, it was led round to the head. The 
channels were cut out of the living rock in many places, the outer side 
being formed of a stone wall of large six-sided slabs, fitting exactly into 
each other, and banked up with earth." 

' There is a fox {Canis Azarce, Pr. Max.) which abounds in the coast 
valleys, where it preys on the lambs. 


nothing on save a bit of clotli between tbe legs, and so they 
run with their loads. They took great care in irrigating their 
land, and also in sowing, which was done by many in con- 
cert together. I will now speak of the road from the city 
of San Miguel to that of Truxillo. 


Of the road from San Miguel to Truxillo, and of the valleys between 
those cities. 

In a former chapter I described the foundation of the city 
of San Miguel, the first settlement made by the Spaniards 
in Peru. I will now treat of what there is between this 
city and Truxillo, the distance between the two cities being 
seventy leagues, a little more or less. On setting out from 
San Miguel there is a distance of twenty-two leagues over 
a sandy waste before reaching the valley of Motupe. The 
road is very wearisome, especially by the route which is now 
used. There are certain Httle ravines on this road, but, 
although some streams descend from the mountains, they 
do not reach these ravines, but are lost in the sand, in such 
sort that no use can be made of the water. To go over 
these twenty-two leagues it is necessary to set out in the 
afternoon, and, travelling all night, some springs are reached 
early in the morning, where the traveller can drink, and go 
on without feeling the heat of the sun. It is usual for 
travellers to carry calabashes of water and bottles of wine 
with them. 

In the valley of Motupe the royal road of the Yncas is 
seen, broad and constructed in the manner described in a 
former chapter. This valley is broad and very fertile, and 
although a good sized river flows down into it from the 
monntnins, all the Avatei' is lost before roachino- the sea. 

PEDRO 1)E f'lEZA 1)E LEON. 239 

The algnrohas^ and other trees f^row well^ on account of the 
moisture which they find under their roots. In the lower 
part of the valley there are villages of Indians, who are 
supported by water which they obtain from deep wells. 
They get all that they require by exchanging one thing for 
another amongst themselves, for they do not use money, nor 
is any die for coining to be found in these parts. They say 
that there were great buildings for the Yncas in this valley ; 
and the people had, and still have, their huacas, or burial- 
places in the barren heights and stony places leading to the 
Sierra. The late wars have reduced the numbers of the 
Indians, and the buildings have fallen into ruins, the pre- 
sent inhabitants living in small huts, built in the same way 
as those described in a former chapter. At certain seasons 
they trade with the people of the Sierra ; and in the valley 
there are great fields of cotton, with which they make their 

Four leagues from Motupe is the fresh and beautiful 
valley of Xayanca, which is nearly four leagues broad. A 
pleasant river flows through it, whence they lead channels 
which serve to irrigate all the land that the Indians choose 
to sow. In former times this valley was thickly peopled. 
Like all the others, and it contained great buildings and 
store-houses belonging to the principal chiefs, where their 
ofl&cers were stationed. The native chiefs of these valleys 
were reverenced by their subjects, and those who survive 
still are so. They go about with a retinue of servants and 
women, and have their porters and guards. 

From this valley the road leads to that of Tuqueme, 
which is also large, pleasant, and full of trees and bushes. 
It contains vestiges of edifices, which are now ruined and 

1 Prosopis horrida, Willd. This tree grows to a large size. The wood 
is very hard, the leaf small, and the branches bear an abundance of 
clusters of pods, which form excellent food for mules and cattle, and for 
immense herds of eoats. 


abandoned. A short journey further on brings us to another 
very beautiful valley called Cinto. And the reader is to 
understand that from valley to valley the way is over sandy 
and parched-up stony wastes, where no living thing is to be 
seen, neither grass nor tree ; nothing but a few birds that 
may be seen flying. Those who travel over the broad 
sandy deserts, and catch sight of the valley (although still 
far off) are much cheered, especially if they are on foot, 
under a hot sun, and suffering from thirst. Men who are 
new to the country should not travel over these wastes, 
except with good guides who know the way. 

Further on is the valley of Collique, through which flows 
a river of the same name, so broad that it cannot be forded 
except in the season when it is summer in the Sierya, and 
winter on the coast. Nevertheless the natives are so well 
practised in the management of irrigation channels that, 
even when it is winter in the Sierra, they sometimes leave 
the main stream dry. This valley, like the others, is broad 
and full of trees, but there is a want of inhabitants, for most 
of them have been carried off by the wars with the Span- 
iards, and by the evils which these wars brought with them. 


In which the same road is followed as has been treated of in the former 
chapter, until the city of Truxillo is reached. 

Beyond the valley of Collique there is another valley called 
Sana, which resembles the others. Further on is the valley 
of Pacasmayu, which is the most fertile and populous of any 
that I have yet mentioned. The natives of this valley, 
before they were conquered by the Yncas, were powerful, 
and respected by their neighbours, and they had great 


temples where they offered sacrifices to their gods. They 
are all now in ruins. In the rocks and hills of the surround- 
ing desert there are a great quantity of Huacas, which are 
the burial-places of these Indians. In all these valleys there 
are clergymen or friars who look after the conversion and 
teaching of the Indians, not permitting them to practise 
their ancient religious customs or usages. 

A very fine river flows through this valley of Pacasmayu, 
whence they lead many large channels, sufiicient to irrigate 
all the fields that are cultivated by the Indians, and they 
raise the fruits and roots already enumerated. The royal 
road of the Yncas passes through this valley, as it does 
through all the others, and here there were great buildings 
for the Yncas^ use. The natives tell some ancient traditions 
of their fathers, which, being fables, I shall not wi'ite down. 
The lieutenants of the Yncas collected the tribute, and 
stored it in the buildings which were made to receive it, 
whence it was taken to the chief station in the province, the 
place selected for the residence of the captain-general, and 
where the temple of the sun was erected. 

In this valley of Pacasmayu they make a great quantity of 
cotton cloth ; the land is suited for breeding cows, still 
better for pigs and goats, and the climate is healthy. I 
passed through this valley in the month of September, in 
the year 1548, to join the other soldiers who had come from 
the government of Popayan to reinforce the royal camp, and 
chastise the late rebellion. It then appeared to me to be 
extremely pleasant, and I praised God on seeing its fresh- 
ness, with so many trees and flowers, and branches full of a 
thousand kinds of birds. 

Further on is the valley of Chacama,^ not less fertile and 

1 " Formerly the valley of Chacama was called the granary of Peru, 
and, imtil the great earthquake of 1687, the wheat produced its seed two 
huncbed fold. This valley alone harvested two hundred thousand bushels 
of this grain." Stevemon, ii, p. 124-5. 


abundant than that of Pascamayu, and in addition it con- 
tains great quantities of sweet cane, of which they make 
much excellent sugar, and other conserves. There is here 
a Dominican monastery, which the reverend father Friar 
Domingo de Santo Tomas founded. 

Four leagues further on is the valley of Chimu,^ which is 
broad and very large, and here the city of Truxillo is built. 
Some Indians relate that, in ancient times, before the 
Yncas extended their sway so far, there was a powerful 
lord in this valley, who was called Chimu, as the valley is 
now. He did great things, was victorious in many battles, 
and built certain edifices which even now, though so ancient, 
clearly appear to have been very grand. When the Kings 
Yncas made themselves lords of these coast valleys, they 
held that of Chimu in great estimation, and ordered large 
buildings and pleasure-houses to be erected in it. The 
royal road, built with its walls, also passes through the 
valley. The native chiefs of this valley were always esteemed 
and held to be rich. This is known to be true, for in the 
tombs of the principal men much gold and silver have been 
found." But at present there are few Indians in the valley, 

' " The valleys of Chimu, Chacama, and Viru, may be considered as 
one, being separated from each other only by the branches of the Chacama 
river. United they are about twenty-eight leagues long and eleven broad. 
Their soil, irrigated by the waters of the river, is very fertile." Steveiison^ 
ii, p. 124. 

■^ Tlie rviins in the valley of Chimu or Truxillo are a league and a half 
from the port of Huanchaco. It is not known when they were built, but 
in the time of Pachacutec, the ninth Ynca (about a.d. 134:0 to 1400), a 
powerful chief reigned in this valley, called Chunu-Canchu. After a 
long war with the Ynca's son Yupanqui, the Cliunu consented to worship 
the sun, and to abandon his OA\ai idols, consisting of figures of fish and 
other animals. 

The ruins of the Cliimu's city cover a space of three quarters of a 
league, exclusive of the great squares. These squares, seven or eight in 
number, vary from two hundred to two hundred and seventy yards in 
length, and from one hundred to one hundred and sixty in breadth. They 
are on the north side of the large edifices or palaces. The walls sur- 


most of the land being- divided a"inongst Spaniards who arc 
citizens of the new city of Truxillo, to form their estates. 
The sea port, called the roadstead of Truxillo, is not very 
far from the valley, and all along the coast they kill much 
fish for the supply of the city and of the Indians them- 

rounding the palaces are of great solidity, formed of adobes (bricks baked 
in the sun) ten or twelve yards long and five or six broad in the lower 
part of the wall, but gradually diminishing until they terminate in a 
breadth of one yard at the top. Each palace was completely siu-rounded 
by an exterior wall. One of them, built of stone and adobes, is fifty 
yards liigh, five yards broad at the bottom, and gradually tapering to one 
at the top. In the first palace there is an interior court, in which are 
chambers built of stone, and plastered within. The lintels of the door- 
ways consist of a single stone about two yards long. Some of the walls 
are adorned with panels and tastefid patterns, and ornaments sculptured 
on the adobes. There is also a large reservoir, which was formerly sup- 
pHed with water, by subterranean aqueducts, from the river Moche, 
about two miles to the north-east. The second palace is one hundred and 
twenty-five yards east of the first. It contains several courts and chambers, 
with narrow lanes between them. At one of the extremities is the hnaca 
of J/i'sa, surrounded by a low wall. This huaca is traversed by small pas- 
sages about a yard wide, and it also contains some large chambers, con- 
taining cloths, mummies, pieces of gold and silver, tools, and a stone idol. 
Besides these palaces there are the ruins of a great number of smaller 
houses, forming an extensive city. Rivera Antiq. Per. 

In 1566 one Garcia Gutierrez de Toledo paid 85,547 castellanos de oro 
(£222,422) as the fifth or royal share of the treasure fomid by him in the 
huacas of the grand Chimu ; and in 1592 the royal fifth of further trea- 
sure discovered in these tombs amounted to 4:1 .,i)2Q castellanos (£122,252). 
The value of the whole was £1,724,220 of our money. This will give some 
idea of the wealth concealed in these burial places. There is a tradition 
that there were two priceless treasures in the form of fishes of gold, 
known as the great and httle peje., in one of the huacas. 

The curiosities that have been found in the Chimu ruins are very inter- 
esting : — such as mmnmies in strange iJostiu-es, one in an attitude as if 
about to ckink, with a monkey on his shoulder, whispering into his ear. 



Of the founding of the city of Truxillo, and who was the founder. 

The city of Truxillo is founded in the valley of Chimu, near 
a large and beautiful river, whence they draw channels by 
which the Spaniards irrigate their . orchards and flower 
gardens. This city of Truxillo is situated in a region which 
is considered healthy, and on all sides it is surrounded by 
estates which the Spaniards call granges and farms, where 
the citizens have their flocks and crops. All the land is 
irrigated, and in all parts there are many vines, fig and 
pomegranate trees, and other fruits of Spain, great abun- 
dance of wheat, and many orange trees, and it is a pleasant 
thing to see the flowers. There are also lemons, limes, and 
citrons, besides plenty of excellent fruits of the country, 
and they breed many fowls and rear capons. It may be 
said that the Spanish inhabitants of this city are provided 
with all they require, having abundance of all the things 
which I have enumerated. There is no want of fish, as 
they have the sea not much more than half a league off". 
The city is built in a level part of the valley, in the midst of a 
refreshing grove of trees. It is well built, with broad streets 
and a large open square.^ The Indians of the Sierra come 
down from their provinces to serve those Spaniards who 
hold them in encomienda,^ and they supply the town with 
the things they have in their own villages. Vessels sail 
from the port, laden Avith cotton cloth made by the Indians, 
for sale in other parts. The Adelantado Don Francisco 
I'izarro, governor and captain-general in the kingdoms of 
Vqvw, founded this city of Truxillo, in the name of the 
Emperor Charles our Lord, in the year of the birth of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ 1535. 

' 'I'he city of Tnixillo stands on a sandy plain, in lat. 8° ()' o" S. 
-' Sec note at p. I'l. 



Of the other valleys and villages along the coast road, as far as the 
City of the Kings. 

In the mountains^ before reaching the City of the Kings, 
are the cities of the frontier of Chachapoyas, and that of 
Leon de Huanuco. I have determined that I will say nothing 
of these until I begin to give an account of the villages and 
provinces in the mountains^ which still await my notice. I will 
then write conceiving their foundation, with as much brevity 
as I can, but at present we must pass forward on our road. 

The distance from the city of Truxillo to that of the 
Kings is eighty leagues, over sandy deserts and intervening 
valleys.^ After leaving Truxillo the first village is Guanape, 
being seven leagues on the road. This valley was no less 
noted among the natives in times past for the chiclia which 
was brewed there, than Madrigal or San Martin in Castillo 
are for the good wine that they yield. In ancient times the 
valley of Guanape was very populous, and was the residence 
of chiefs, who were honourably and well treated by the 
Yncas after they submitted to their rule. The Indians who 
have survived the wars and troubles are skilful in their 
labour, drawing channels of water from the river to irrigate 
their fields. The remains may be clearly seen of the build- 
ings and store-houses erected by the Kings Yncas. There 
is a useful port at this valley, where many of the ships 
which sail on the South Sea, from Panama to Peru, call for 

From Guanape the road leads to the valley of Santa, but 
before reaching it there is a valley with no river, but a small 
well at which travellers quench their thirst. This well may 
be caused by some river which flows through the bowels of 
the earth. In former days the valley of Santa was very 
' The distance is one hundred and eight leagues by the road. 


populous, and there were great cliiefs who, at first, even defied 
the Yncas. They say of them that it was more by intrigue 
and a display of friendship than by force of arms, that they 
were induced to acknowledge the Yncas as their lords. 
Afterwards the Yncas honoured them, and held them in 
great esteem, and the chiefs erected grand edifices by order 
of the Yncas. This valley is one of the largest of any we 
have passed. A great and rapid river flows through it, 
which is much swollen when the season in the 8ierra is 
winter, so that some Spaniards have been drowned in cross- 
ing from one side to the other.^ There are now halsas for 
crossing in. The valley contained many thousands of Indians 
in former times, but now there are only four hundred ; and 
this is a lamentable thing to contemplate. That which I 
most admired, in passing through this valley, was the great 
number of burial-places, and that in all parts of the barren 
hills above the valley there were quantities of tombs made 
according to the custom of the Indians, and full of the 
bones of the dead. Thus the things that are most worthy 
of notice in the valley are the tombs of the dead and the 
fields which they cultivated when alive. They used to take 
great channels of water from the river, with which they 
irrigated the land. But now there are few Indians, and 
most of the fields which were once cultivated, are converted 
into woods, ground overgrown with brambles, and such 
dense thickets that, in some places, it is difficult to make a 
way through them. The natives go dressed in shirts and 
mantles, and the women also. They wear a head-dress on 
their heads to distinguish them from other tribes. AU the 
fruits I have already mentioned grow well in this valley, 

' The river of Santa is about eighteen huncbed yards across at the 
mouth, and its current, during the rainy season, sometimes flows at the 
rate of seven miles an hour. In 1795 a rope bridge was tlirown across it, 
about a league from the mouth, but it was destroyed by a sudden rise of 
the water in 1806. Stevenson. 


and tlio pulses of Spain ; and tho Indians kill much fish. 
The ships sailing along the coast always take in water at 
the river of Santa. And as there are many thickets and 
few inhabitants, the mosquitos swarm in such numbers as 
to be grievous to those who pass through or sleep in this 

Two days' journey further on is the valley of Huambacho, 
of which I shall say no more than that it resembles those 
already described, that there were buildings in it erected by 
its chiefs, and that the inhabitants drew channels of water 
from the river which flows through it, to irrigate their crops. 

1 went in a day and a-half from this valley to that of 
'jruarmay, which was likewise very populous in former days.^ 
At present they breed great quantities of cattle, horses, and 
pigs in it. 

From Guarmay the road leads to Parmonga, which is no 
less pleasant than the other valleys, but I beHeve that it 
contains no Indians at aU who avail themselves of its fer- 
tihty. If, by chance, a few remain, it must be in the upper 
parts near the foot of the mountains, for we saw nothing 
but trees and wild thickets. There is one thing worth 
seeing in this valley, which is a fine well-built fortress, and 
it is certainly very curious to see how they raised water in 
channels to irrigate higher levels. The buildings were very 
handsome, and many wild beasts and birds were painted on 
the walls, which are now all in ruins and undermined in 
many places by those who have searched for buried gold 
and silver. In these days the fortress only serves as a 
witness to that which has been.^ 

> Guarmay is a small Indian viUage, famous for its chicha^ which is 
remarkably strong. 

2 These are the ruins of a fortress defended by the Chimu against the 
army of the Yncas, the outer waUs being tlu-ee hundred yards long by 
two hundred. The interior is divided into small houses, separated by 
lanes. It is partly covered -nnth a kind of plaster, on wliich Proctor saw 
tho uncouth coloured representations of birds and beasts mentioned in the 


Two leagues from tliis valley is tlie river Huaman, a word 
whicli, in our laug-uage, means " falcon/' but it is usually 
called "the ravine/'^ When it rains mucli in tlie Sierra, 
this river is dangerous, and some people have been drowned 
in crossing it. One day's journey further on brings us to 
the valley of Huara, whence we pass to that of Lima. 


Of the situation of the City of Kings, of its founding, and who was 
the founder. 

The valley of Lima is the largest and broadest of all those 
of which I have written between it and Tumbez ; and, as it 
was large, so it was very populous. But now there are few 
native Indians, for, as the city was built on their land, and 
as their fields and water-courses were taken from them, 
some have now gone to one valley and some to another. 
If by chance some have remained, they continue to irrigate 
their fields. At the time when the Adelantado Don Pedro 
de Alvarado came to this kingdom, the Adelantado Don 
Francisco Pizarro, who was his Majesty's governor, was in 
Cuzco ; and, while the marshal Don Diego de Almagro was 
doing those things which I mentioned in my chapter on 
Riobamba, he came down to the coast, and determined to 

text. The ruined fortress stands at the extremity of a plain, close to the 
foot of some rugged movmtains, about a league from the sea. Faz Sol- 
dan : Proctor^ p. 175. 

' La Barranca. Tlie river is approached by a precipitous descent 
down a high bank of large pebbles and earth. The breadth of the chan- 
nel is about a quarter of a mile, and, during the rains in the Andes, it is 
completely full, running furiously, and carrying along with it trees and 
even rocks, which render it impassable. In the dry season it merely con- 
sists of three separate torrents about as deep Jts the saddle, but imsafe. 


found a city in this valley. At that time neither Truxillo, 
Arequipa, Guamanga, nor any of the other cities were com- 
menced. While the governor Don Francisco Pizarro was 
thinking- of founding this city^ after having inspected San- 
gallan^ and other sites on the coast, he one day came with 
some Spaniards to the place where the city now stands, and 
it appeared to him a convenient site, possessing all neces- 
sary advantages. He, therefore, soon afterwards laid out a 
plan, and built the city on a level part of the valley, two 
short leagues from the sea. Above this site a river flows 
from the east, which has little water when it is summer in 
the Sierra, but which is somewhat swollen when it is winter. 
The city is so near the river that a strong arm may throw a 
small stone into it from the ])laza, and on that side it 
cannot be enlarged. After Cuzco it is the largest city in 
the whole kingdom of Peru, and the most important.^ It 
contains very fine houses, and some ornamental buildings 
with towers and terraces. The plaza is large" and the 
streets broad, and through every street a channel of water 
flows, which is no small convenience. The water from these 
channels serves to irrigate the orchards and gardens, which 
are numerous, refreshing, and delightful. At this time the 
Court and Royal Chancellory is estabhshed in the city, for 
which reason, and because all the business of the country 
is done here, there are always many people in the city, and 
rich shops for the sale of merchandise. In the year that I 
departed from tliis kingdom there were many inhabitants of 
this city who possessed encomicndas of Indians, and were so 
rich and prosperous, that they valued their estates at 150,000 

1 The city of Lima is about two miles long and a mile and a half broad. 
Its circmuference is about ten miles, but many gardens, orchards, and 
fields of alfalfa are included within the walls. The best and fullest 
account of Lima is contained in a work called Estadistica de Lima, by 
Don Manuel A. Fuentes. 

2 Each side of the grand square of Lima is five himch-ed and ten feet 
long. It contains the cathedral and palace. 


ducats and upwards. In fiue^ I left them very ricli and 
prosperous, and sMps often sail from the port of this city, 
each carrying 800,000 ducats, and some more than a million. 
I pray to Almighty God that, as it will be for his service, 
for the spread of our holy faith, and for the salvation of our 
souls, he will allow this wealth to increase continually. 

On the east side of the city there is a great and lofty hill, 
on the top of which a cross is planted.^ Outside the city 
there are many farms and estates on all sides, where the 
Spaniards have their flocks and pigeon-cotes, vineyards, 
and refreshing orchards full of the fruits of the country^ 
figs, bananas, sugar-canes, melons, oranges, lemons, limes, 
citrons, and beans brought from Spain. All is so good, 
that no fault can be found, but rather thanks should be 
offered up to the great God our Lord, who made all these 
things. Certainly, if all commotions and wars were at 
an end, this would be one of the best countries in the 
world to pass a life in," for we see in it neither hunger, nor 
pestilence, nor rain, nor thunder and lightning, but the 
heavens are always serene and very beautiful. I could have 
mentioned some other particulars, but as it seems to me 
that I have said enough, I shall pass on, concluding by 
saying that the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor 
and captain-general in these kingdoms, founded the city in 
the name of his Majesty the Emperor Charles our lord, in 
the year of our salvation 1535.^ 

' This is the hill of San Cristobal, a rocky height rising abruptly from 
the plain, on the opposite side of the river Rimac, near the bull-ring. 
There is still a cross planted on its summit. 

^ One does not always hear such praise from those who have visited 
the City of the Kings ; but at least the feelings of the editor of this work 
agree with those of the author. Some of tlie happiest days in the editor's 
life were passed on the banks of the Runac ; and he, therefore, will not 
criticize the enthusiastic and, as some will think, exaggerated praise of 
Cieza de Leon. 

3 The city of Lima was founded by Pizarro on the Gth of January, 
1535. As it was the day of Epiphany, Lima received the title of Cludad 
de los Reijes (City of the Kings). 



Of the valley of Pachacamac, and of the very ancient temijle in it, and 
liow it was reverenced by the Yncas. 

Four leagues from the City of the Eangs, travelling do\vn 
the coast, is the valley of Pachacamac, which is very famous 
among these Indians. This valley is fruitful and pleasant, 
and in it there v/as one of the grandest temples that is to 
be seen in these parts. They say of it that, although the 
Kings Yncas built many temples besides the temple of 
Cuzco, and enriched them greatly, yet none were equal to 
this temple of Pachacamac. It was built on the top of a 
small hill, entirely made of earth and adobes (bricks baked 
in the sun). The edifice had many doors, and the doors 
and walls Avere painted over with wild beasts. Within the 
temple, where they placed the idol, were the priests, who 
feigned no small amount of sanctity. When they performed 
sacrifices before the people, they went with their faces to- 
wards the doors and their backs to the idols, with their eyes 
to the ground, and they were filled with a mighty trembling. 
Indeed, their perturbation was so great, according to the 
accounts of those Indians who are stiU living, that it may 
almost be compared with that of which we read concerning 
the priests of ApoUo when the gentiles sought for their vain 
rephes. The Indians further relate that they sacrificed 
animals, and some human blood of persons whom they had 
killed, before the figure of this devil, which, at their most 
solemn festivals, gave replies, and when the people heard 
them, they believed them to be true. In the terraces and 
lower parts of this temple a great sum in gold and silver was 

The priests were much reverenced, and the chiefs obeyed 
them in many of the things which they ordered. Near the 
temple many great buildings were erected for the use of 


those who came on pilgrimage, and no one was considered 
worthy to be buried in the vicinity of the temple except the 
chiefs, or those who came as pilgrims bringing offerings 
to the temple.^ When the annual festivals of the year 
were celebrated, a great concourse of people assembled, 
rejoicing to the sound of such instruments of music as 
they use. 

When the Lords Yncas, in extending their sway, came to 
this valley of Pachacamac, and saw the grandeur and great 
antiquity of the temple, and the reverence paid to it by all 
the people in the neighbourhood, they knew that it would be 
very difficult to put aside this feeling, although it was their 
general practice to order temj^les to the sun to be built in 
all the countries they conquered. They, therefore, agreed 
with the native chiefs and with the ministers of this god or 
devil, that the temple of Pachacamac should continue with 
the authority and reverence it formerly possessed, and that 

' Great nvuiibers of bodies have been dug up at the foot of the temple 
of Pachacamac, the extreme dryness of the cHmate having i^reserved the 
long hair on the skulls, and even the skin. There are as many as one 
hundred and foui- Pachacamac skulls in European museums, which have 
been carefully examined. " They exliibit a vertically flattened occiput, 
a narrow and receding forehead, the glabella being slightly prominent. 
The acrocephahc or sugar-loaf form predominates. The range of skulls 
from Pachacamac varies from the globular or oval type, with a shghtly 
depressed coronal suture, which Tschudi terms the ' Chincha' skulls, to 
the pyramidal brachyceiAalic cranium, with a high and vertical occiput, 
ordinarily termed the ' Inca cranium.'" C. C. Blake, Esq., O71 the Cranial 
Characters of the Peruvian Races. Transactions of the Ethnological 
Society. Vol. ii. New Series, p. 227. Cieza de Leon states, in the text, 
that only chiefs and pilgrims were allowed to be buried near the temple 
of Pachacamac ; and, if this was really the case, it would be natural to 
expect that the fact would be corroborated, to some extent, by an exami- 
nation of the skulls. Accordingly I am informed by Mr. Carter Blake, 
that ]\Ir. CUft and others have spoken of Pachacamac as being the depo- 
sitory of more than one type of skull, which may be the remains of pil- 
gruns from various localities. ]\Ir. Clift mentions bodies at Pachacamac 
with heads depressed hke those of the people near lake Titicaca, and 
others with heads properly formed. 


the loftiest part should be set aside as a temple of the sun. 
This order of the Yncas having been obeyed, the temple of 
the sun became very rich, and many virgins were placed in 
it. The devil Pachacamac was delighted with this agree- 
ment, and they affirm that he showed great satisfaction in 
his replies, seeing that his ends were served both by the 
one party and the other, while the souls of the unfortunate 
simpletons remained in his power. 

Some Indians say that this accursed demon Pachacamac 
still talks with the aged people. As he sees that his autho- 
rity and credit are gone, and that many of those who once 
served him have now formed a contrary opinion, he declares 
that he and the God of whom the Christians preach are one, 
and thus with other false and deceitful words induces some 
to refuse the water of baptism. Nevertheless God, taking 
pity on the souls of these sinners, is served by many coming 
to His knowledge and calling themselves sons of the church. 
Thus every day some are baptised. The temple is now so 
completely dismantled that the principal edifice is gone alto- 
gether, and in the place where the devil was once so served 
and adored, a cross is planted to increase his terror, and to 
be a comfort to the faithful. 

The name of this devil is intended to signify " creator 
of the world," for camac means " creator,^' and paclia, " the 
world." When the governor Don Francisco Pizarro (God 
permitting it) seized Atahualpa in the province of Caxa- 
marca, he heard wonderful reports of this temple, and of its 
great riches. He, therefore, sent his brother, the captain 
Hernando Pizarro, with some Spanish troops, with orders to 
seek out the valley, and take all the gold he could find in 
the accursed temple, with which he was to return to Caxa- 
marca. Although the captain Hernando Pizarro succeeded 
in reaching the temple of Pachacamac, it is notorious among 
the people that the priests had already taken away four hun- 
dred loads of gold, which have never yet appeared, nor do 


any Indians now living know where they are. Never- 
theless Hernando Pizarro (the first Spanish captain who 
came to this place) found some gold and silver. As time 
passed on, the captain Eodrigo Orgofiez, Francisco de Godoy, 
and others, took a large sum of gold and silver from the 
burial places. It is considered that there is much more, but 
as the place where it was buried is unknown, it was lost. 
From the time that Hernando Pizarro and his Christians 
entered the temple, the devil has had little power, the idols 
have been destroyed, and the temple and other edifices have 
fallen into ruins. Insomuch that very few Indians now re- 
main in the place. This valley is as full of trees as the other 
valleys, and many cows and other stock are reared in the 
fields, besides mares, from which come some good horses.^ 

1 The niins of Pacliacamac are about twenty miles south of Lima, on 
the sea-coast. The temple was on the summit of a hiU about four hun- 
dred feet above the sea, and half a mile from the beach. Tlie view from 
the platform, where the temple once stood, is exceedingly striking. Half 
the horizon is occupied by the ocean, and the other haH is divided into 
two widely different scenes. One is an arid desert, with no object on 
which the eye can rest save the ruined city ; the other is a lovely valley, 
covered with fields of maize and sugar cane, and dotted with houses half 
hidden by the encircling fruit gardens. The little town of Lurin stands 
in its centre. A narrow stream separates this enchanting valley from the 
dreary expanse of sand, while the glorious Andes bound the inland view. 

The upper part of the temple hill is ai'tiiicially formed of huge adobes 
or bricks baked in the sun, rising in three broad terrace^, the walls of 
which are thirty-two feet high. Towards the sea the terraces are sup- 
ported by buttresses of ordinary sized sun-dried bricks, and the red paint, 
with which the walls were originally coated, may still be seen in several 
places. The temple stood on a level platform on the top, facing the sea. 
The door is said to have been of gold plates, richly inlaid with coral and 
precious stones, but the interior was rendered filthy by the sacrifices. 
Garcilasso says that the Yunca Indians had idols in the form of fish and 
other annuals, and that they sacrificed animals, and even the blood of 
men and women ; but that these idols were destroyed by the Yncas. 

At the foot of the temple hill are the remains of houses for pilgrims ; 
and it is here that the numerous skulls are found, with long flowdng hair, 
which are to be met with in European museiuns. Further on are the 
ruins of an extensive city. The streets are very narrow, and the princi- 



Of the valleys between Pachacamac and the fortress of Iluarco, and of a 
notable thing which is done in the valley of Huarco. 

From this temple of Pachacamac, where the temple is, the 
road leads to Chilca, and at that place there is a thing well 
worthy of note, for it is very strange. It is this, — that 
neither rain falls from heaven, nor does any river or spring 
flow through the land, and yet the greater part of the valley 
is full of crops of Indian corn, of roots, and of fruit trees. 
It is a marvellous thing to hear what the Indians do in this 
valley. In order to secure the necessary moisture, they 
make broad and very deep holes where they sow their crops, 
and God is served by their growing with the aid of dew 
alone ; but by no means could they make the maize grow if 
they did not put two heads of sardines to each grain, these 
sardines being small fish which they catch with nets in the 
sea. At the time of sowing, these fishes heads are put with 
the maize in the same hole that is made for the grain, and 
in this manner the grain grows and yields abundantly. It 
is certainly a notable thing that in a land where it does not 
rain, and where nothing but a very fine dew falls, people 
should be able to live at their ease. The water which the 
natives of this village drink is taken from very deep wells, 
and they catch so many sardines in the sea, that the supply 
is sufiicient to maintain all the inhabitants, besides using 

pal houses or palaces generally consist of halls of gi-and proportions, with 
a number of small apartments at each end : all now choked with Sfiud. 
The foundations are frequently of stone. 

It is said by some old writers that this temple was erected for the 
worsliip of Pachacamac — the Supreme Being, the " Creator of the world" 
— by an ancient race, long before the time of the Yncas, and of whom 
the Yunca Indians were degenerate descendants. Its great antiquity is 
proved by the fact that, when Hernando Pizarro first arrived at it, a con- 
siderable portion of the city was already in ruins. 


many for manuring the crops. There were buildings and 
store-houses of the Yncas in this valley^ for their reception 
when they visited the provinces of their kingdom.' 

Three leagues beyond Chilca is the valley of Mala, where 
the devil, for men's sins, completed the evil which had 
commenced in this land, and secured the breaking out of 
war between the two governors, Don Francisco Pizarro and 
Don Diego de Almagro. First, a number of events took 
place, and at last they left the decision of the dispute (as to 
which of the governments the city of Cuzco belonged) in 
the hands and power of Francisco de Bobadilla, a friar of 
the order of our Lady of Mercy. After a solemn oath had 
been taken by one captain and by the other, the two 
Adelantados Pizarro and Almagro met, but no result came 
of the interview, and Don Diego de Almagro returned, with 
great dissimulation, to his own troops and captains." The 
umpire Bobadilla then pronounced his judgment on the 
dispute, and declared that which I shall write in the fourth 
]3art of this history, in the first book, entitled '^ The war of 
Las Salinas." 

' The plain of Cliilca is a broad sandy waste, with a thin Une of vege- 
tation rmining from the Andes to the sea. The village is a collection of 
cane flat-roofed houses, with a handsome church. It is about two miles 
from the beach, where there is an abrupt headland called Chilca Point. 
There are none of the maize fields described by Cieza de Leon, and the 
land is no longer manured with saixline heads, but there are several palm 
and fig trees, and holes where crops of reeds, for making matting to cover 
the house tops, are raised. A little scanty herbage grows on the sand hills, 
where mules and donkeys graze. The inhabitants of Chilca are all pure 
Indians, and they allow no whites to reside in their village. Tliey employ 
themselves in plaitmg straw for hats and cigar cases of great beauty. In 
the time of the Yncas this valley was very populous, as is clear from the 
numerous ruins in various directions ; but Spanish occupation has acted 
as a bhght on every corner of this once happy land. 

- Here Cieza de Leon shows his strong prejudice against Almagro. It 
is well known that Pizarro formed a plot to seize him after the interview 
at Alala, and that he was warned of the meditated treachery by the voice 
of an old comrade, who sang a coujilet iu the verandah — 
'' Tiempo cs de andar, Cavallero ! 
Ticmpo cs dc andar de aqui." 


A fine river, bordered by thickets of trees and bushes, 
flows through this valley of Mala.^ 

A little more than five leagues beyond the valley of Mala 
is that of Guarco, which is highly spoken of in this king- 
dom, being large, broad, and full of fruit trees. ^ Especially 
there are many guayavas, which are very delicious and 
fragrant, and still more guavas. The wheat and maize 
yield plentifully, and all other things that are sown, as well 
those of the countiy as the trees of Spain. There are also 
pigeons, doves, and other kinds of birds. The thickets 
of bushes in this valley are very shady, and irrigating 
channels flow through them. The inhabitants say that, in 
times past, the valley was very populous, and that the 
people contended with their neighbours, and with those of 
the Sierra. 

When the Yncas advanced their conquests and extended 
their sway over all the provinces they came in contact with, 
the natives of this valley had no wish to become vassals, 
seeing that their fathers had left them free. They showed 
great valour, and maintained the war with no less spirit 
than virtue for more than four years, during which time 
many notable things fell out between the combatants. It 
was a protracted war, and although the Ynca himself 
retired to Cuzco in the summer, on account of the heat, his 
troops continued fighting. On account of the length of the 
war, which the Ynca desired to bring to a close, he came 
down with his nobles to build a new city which he called 
Cuzco, after his principal seat of government. The Indians 
relate that he ordered that the difierent di%asions of the new 

> The valley of Mala is six miles from that of Chilca. It is covered 
with rich vegetation — bananas, figs, oranges, fields of maize, vines, and 
willow trees, and is weU suppUed with water by a large river. In the 
southern part there are extensive ptxstures, where some of the bulls are 
bred for the Lima bull fights. 

■ This is the rich modern valley of Caneta, containmg six very exten- 
sive and flourishing sugar estates, and two villages. 


city should liave the same names as those of Cuzco. Finally, 
but not until they had fought to the last extremity, the 
natives of the valley of Guarco were subdued, and subjected 
to the yoke of the tyrant king, who had no other right to 
be their lord than that which the fortune of war had given 
him.i Having brought the enterprise to a successful con- 
clusion, the Ynca returned with his troops to Cuzco, and 
the name of the new city was lost. Nevertheless he ordered 
the most handsome and imposing fortress in the whole 
kingdom to be erected on a high hill commanding the 
valley, to commemorate his victory. It is built on great 
square slabs, the portals are very well made, and the halls 
and courts are very large. From the upper part of this 
royal house a stone flight of steps leads down to the sea, 
and the waves dash with such force against the base of the 
edifice, that it causes wonder to think how it could have 
been built with such strength and solidity. In its time 
this fortress was richly adorned with paintings, and it con- 
tained great treasure in the days of the Kings Yncas. 
Although the building is so strong, and the stones so large, 
there does not appear to be any mortar or other cement by 
which they were joined together. When the edifice was 
built they say that, on reaching the interior of the rock, 
they made holes with their picks and other tools, and filled 
them with gi-eat slabs and stones, and thus it is that the 
building is so strong. Considering that it is built by these 
Indians, the building is worthy of praise, and must cause 
admiration to those who see it, although now it is ruined 
and deserted. It may still be seen to have been a great 
work in times past. It seems to me that both Spaniards 

' AVliat otluT rii;lit had our autlior's countrymen? or does he mean 
more than meets tlie eye, in writing this sentence. Cieza de Leon was 
evidently impressed with the excellence of the government of the Yncas, 
and deplores, in almost every chapter, the destruction and ruin brought 
upon the country by the Spaniards. Ts this a covert thrust at tlie justice 
of the Si)anish conquest ? 


and Indians should bo forbidden, under heavy penalties, 
from doing further injury either to this building or to the 
remains of the fortress at Cuzco ; for these two edifices are 
those which should cause most admiration in all Peru, and, 
as time rolls on, they may even be made use of for some 
good purpose.^ 

» The ruins of tliis great edifice, liaK fortress half palace, are still to be 
seen on an elevated point of land overhanging the sea, on the south side 
of the river of Caiiete. I examined these ruins very carefully in 1853. 
They are divided into two parts. Those furthest from the sea consist of 
nine chambers. Entering from a breach in the wall, I passed along a 
gallery broad enough for two men to walk abreast, with a parapet five 
feet high on one side, and a wall sixteen feet high on the other. The 
parapet is on the edge of a hill partly faced with adobes. At the end of 
about twenty yards the gallery tm-ns at right angles into the centre of the 
building. Here there is a doorway about ten feet high, three feet across 
at the base, and narrovidng as it ascends, with a lintel of willow beams. 
It leads into a spacious haU, and, on the opposite side, there is a deep 
recess corresponding with the door. The walls are sixteen feet high, 
built of moderate sized adobes., formerly plastered over, and, as Cieza de 
Leon tells us, painted with figures. At the sides of the hall there are 
small chambers with recesses in the walls, communicating with each other 
by passages in the rear. There is a distance of two hundred yards, strewn 
with ruined walls, between this portion of the ruins and that overhang- 
ing the sea. The latter is entered by a doorway, which leads into a large 
square hall, nearly a hundred feet each way. The sides towards the 
north and west are smooth, but the eastern wall is pierced by fifteen small 
recesses. On the south side two doorways lead by passages into smaller 
chambers, also with recesses in the walls. In the upper part of the walls 
of the great hall the holes, for the beams which sup^jorted the roof, are 
distinctly \'isible. The walls throughout are three to four feet thick. The 
doorways, from the lintel to the ground, are eight feet high. On the 
whole, this is one of the best presei-ved ruins in the land of the Yncas. 
The portions of the fortress which were built of stone, were barbarously 
destroyed by order of the Spanish viceroy Count of Moucloa, and the 
materials were used for building the castles at CaUao. 



Of the great province of Chincha, and how much it was vahied in 
ancient times. 

About two leagues beyond the fortress of Guarco is a rather 
large river called Lunahuana, and the valley which it forms 
is like all the rest. Six miles further on is the large and 
beautiful valley of Chincha^ so far famed throughout Peru^ 
as well as feared in former days by the other natives. 
When the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro^ with his thirteen 
companions, discovered the coast of this kingdom, it was 
said on all sides that Chincha was the fairest and best part 
of it. Thus it was that, by reason of the fame borne by the 
place, and without knowing the secrets of the soil, he 
sought from his Majesty the government of a territory 
extending from the river of Santiago or Tempulla to this 
valley of Chincha.^ 

As to the origin of the Indians of Chincha, they say that, 
in time past, a quantity of them set out under the banner 
of a valiant captain of their own tribe and arrived at this 
valley of Chincha, where they found many inhabitants, but 
all of such small stature that the tallest was barely two 
cubits high. The new comers being valiant, and the natives 
cowardly and timid, the former gained possession. They 
also affirm that all the natives perished, and that the fathers 
of the grandfathers of men now alive saw their bones in 
certain tombs which were as small as has been described. 

These Indians thus became lords of the valley; they 

' From the great gate of the hacienda of Laran, in the valley of Chincha, 
a broad road leads towards the Andes. This road formed the division 
between the governments of Pizarro and Ahnagro on the sea-coast, and 
the question as to whether Cuzco was on the north or south side of the 
imaginary line continued east from Laran, was the cause of a quarrel 
which ended in the defeat and death of Ahnagro. Laran now belongs to 
the hospitable Don Antonio Prada, marquis of the towers of Oran. 


flourished and multiplied, and built their villages close 
together. They say that they heard a certain oracle near a 
rock, and that they all hold the place to be sacred. They 
call it ChincJia and Camay. They constantly made sacri- 
fices, and the devil held converse with the older men, and 
deceived them as he did all the other Indians. The prin- 
cipal chiefs of the valley, and many other Indians, have now 
become Christians, and a monastery of the glorious Saint 
Dominic has been founded in the valley. 

But to return to our subject. They affirm that the Indians 
of this valley increased so rapidly in numbers and in power, 
that those of the other neighbouring valleys sought friend- 
ship and alliance with them as a great honour and advan- 
tage. Finding themselves so powerful, they are said to 
have set out to rob the provinces of the Sierra at the time 
that the first Yncas were founding the city of Cuzco. They 
are said to have done much mischief in Soras and Lucanas, 
and to have got as far as the great province of the CoUao, 
whence, after having taken great spoils, and gained many 
victories, they returned to their valley. Here they and 
their descendants Uved, given up to their pleasures and 
amusements, with over many women, and following the same 
rites and customs as the other tribes. The valley was so 
populous, that many Spaniards say, that when the Marquis 
conquered it, it contained more than 25,000 men. At pre- 
sent, I believe, that there are barely 5000, such have been the 
strifes and misfortunes they have gone through. The lord- 
ship of this valley was also safe and prosperous until the 
valiant Ynca Yupanqui extended his rule in this direction. 
Wishing to bring the chiefs of Chincha under his rule, he 
sent a captain of his own lineage, named Ccapac Ynca 
Yupanqui, with an army of many Orejones and others, 
who reached the valley, and had several encounters with 
the natives. Not being able to subjugate them, the Orejones 
passed on; but in the time of Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, 


father of Huayna Ccapac, tliey were finally conquered, and 
from that time they obeyed the laws of the Lords Yncas ; 
the villages of the valley were ruled by them, and great 
buildings and storehouses were erected for the King. The 
Yncas did not deprive the chiefs of their lordship, but his 
delegate lived in the valley, and the natives were ordered 
to worship the sun. Thus a temple was built, and many 
virgins and priests to celebrate festivals resided in it. But, 
notwithstanding that this temple of the sun was so pre- 
eminently established, the natives did not cease to worship 
also in their ancient temple of Chinchaycama. The Kings 
Yncas also sent Mitimaes into this great valley, and ordered 
that, during certain months in the year, the native chiefs 
should reside at the court of Ouzco. The chief of Chincha, 
who is still living, was in most of the wars which were 
waged during the time of Huayna Ccapac. He is a man of 
ability and good understanding for an Indian. 

This valley is one of the largest in all Peru, and it is a 
beautiful thing to see its channels of water and groves of 
trees, and the great abundance of fruit, more especially the 
luscious and fragrant ■pepinos, not Hke those of Spain, 
although they bear some resemblance. These are yellow 
when the peel is taken oflP, and so delicious that it is neces- 
sary to eat many of them before a man is satisfied. In the 
thickets there are the same birds as have already been 
mentioned. There are scarcely any sheep of the country, 
because the wars between the Christians have caused their 
destruction. This valley yields plenty of wheat, and they 
cultivate vines which they have planted. The valley yields 
all the other things which have been planted by the 

There were an immense quantity of burial-places made on 
the surrounding arid heights. The Spaniards opened many 
of them, and obtained a great quantity of gold. The native 
Indians were fond of dancino-, and the chiefs went about 


witli much ceremony und parade, and were reverenced Ly 
their vassals. After the Yncas estabhshcd their rule, the 
natives copied many customs from them, adopted their 
dress, and imitated them in all other things as their sole 

The large population of this great valley has been reduced 
by the long civil wars in Peru, and because many natives 
have been taken away to carry burdens for the Spaniards 
(as is well known). 


Of the other valley, <as far as the province of Tarapaca. 

After leaving the beautiful province of Chincha, and tra- 
velling over sandy wastes, the traveller reaches the refresh- 
ing valley of Yea, which was not less rich and populous 
than the others. A river flows through it, which, during 
some months in the year when the season is summer in the 
Sierra, has so little water that the inhabitants of the valley 
feel the want of it. In the days of their prosperity, before 
they were subdued by the Spaniards, and when they enjoyed 
the government of the Yncas, besides the channels with 
which they irrigated the valley, they had one much larger 
than the rest, brought with great skill from the mountains 
in such wise that it flowed without reducing the quantity of 
water in the river.^ Now that this great channel is de- 
stroyed, they make deep holes in the bed of the river when 
it is diy, and thus they obtain water to drink, and for 
watering their crops. In this valley of Yea there were 
great lords in former times who were much feared and 
reverenced. The Yncas ordered palaces and other buildings 
to be made in the valley. The inhabitants had the same 
' Another great public work of the Yncas, now utterly destroyed. 


customs as the other Indians, burying live women and great 
treasure with their dead. 

In this valley there are very large woods of algaroba 
trees, and many fruit trees of the kinds already described ; 
besides deer, pigeons, doves, and other game. The people 
breed much cattle.^ 

From this valley of Yea the road leads to the beautiful 
rivers and valleys of Nasca,^ which were also very populous 
in times past, and the streams were made to irrigate the 
fields. The late wars destroyed by their cruelty (as is well 
known) all these poor Indians. Some Spaniards of credit 
told me that the greatest harm to the Indians was done 
during the dispute of the two governors Pizarro and Al- 
magro, respecting the boundaries of their jurisdictions, which 
cost so dear, as the reader will see in the proper place. 

In the principal valley of those of Nasca (which by another 
name is called Caxamalca) there were great edifices built 
by order of the Yncas.^ I have nothing more to say of the 

> The valley of Yea forms a delightful contrast to the surroundmg 
deserts. The traveller, leaving the sandy waste beliind liim, finds him- 
self riding through vineyards and cotton plantations, Avith hedges of fig 
trees, jessamine and roses on either hand. Yea is a large town about two 
leagues from the foot of the Andes, in the middle of a fertile and beauti- 
ful valley ; but it has suffered fearfully from earthquakes. The river is 
crossed by a bridge of ropes and willow branches, and during January 
and February it dashes impetuously down the valley, but it is dry for the 
rest of the year, and, as Cieza de Leon says, the people dig holes in its 
bed, to get water. There are some very extensive woods of giiaranrja or 
algaroba trees {^Prosopis horrida) in the valley of Yea, generally on the 
skirts of the deserts. 

2 lie includes the rich valleys of Palj^a, San Xavier, and Nasca under 
the same name. 

3 I carefully examined these ruined edifices when I was at Nasca. 
They are built in terraces up the sides of the mountains, wliich hem in the 
valley on the south. The houses contained spacious halls, with niches in 
the walls. About forty feet higher up the mountain, and immechately 
overhanging the ruined palaces, there was a fortress with a semicircular 
wall in front, and a high adobe breastwork in the rear. Its only apjiroach 
was by a steep ramp leading up from the edifices below. The walls of the 
buildings are all of stone. 


natives than that they also assert that their ancestors were 
valiant, and esteemed by the Kings of Cuzco. I have heard 
that the Spaniards took a quantity of treasure from the 
burial-places, or hiiacas. These valleys being so fertile, as 
I have said, a great quantity of sweet canes have been 
planted in one of them, of which they make much sugar for 
sale in the cities of this kingdom. The great road of the 
Yncas passes through all these valleys, and in some parts of 
the desert signs may be seen to indicate the road that 
should be taken. 

Beyond these valleys of Nasca is that of Acari, and fur- 
ther on are those of Ocoiia, Camana, and Quilca, in which 
there are great rivers.^ Notwithstanding that at the pre- 
sent time these valleys contain few inhabitants, in former 
times they were populous, but the wars and calamities have 
reduced their numbers of late years until there are now few 
left. These valleys are as fruitful and abundant as the 
others, and are well adapted for breeding stock. 

Beyond this valley of Quilca,^ which is the port of the 
city of Arequipa, are those of Chuli, Tambopalla, and Ylo. 
Further on are the rich valleys of Tarapaca. Out of the sea, 
in the neighbourhood of these valleys, rise some islands 
much frequented by seals. The natives go to them in 
halsas, and bring a great quantity of the dung of birds from 

• I know of only one modern traveller who has visited and described 
the coast valleys of Acari, Ocoua, and Camana ; namely, that noble old 
warrior General JNIiller, who led his patriot troops from Quilca to Pisco 
in 1823, a most difficult march over trackless deserts, and through a 
country then in possession of the Si>aiiiards. 

The Camana valley, which ia its upper part is called Majes, has a con- 
siderable river ; and contains olive yards, vineyards, and sugar planta- 
tions. It is in 1.5' 57' S. The yellow aji or capsicum of Camana is also 
famous, and guano has been used as mamu-e in its cultivation from time 

- Quilca Avas the port of Arequipa until the year 1827, when it was 
supplanted by its present successful rival Islay, some leagues further down 
the coast. 


tlie rocks, to apply to tlieir crops of maize, and they find it 
so efficacious that the land, which formerly was sterile, be- 
comes very rich and fruitful. If they cease to use this 
manure they reap little maize. Indeed the people could 
not be supported if the birds, lodging on the rocks round 
these islands, did not leave that which is afterwards col- 
lected, and considered so valuable as to become an article of 
trade between the natives.^ 

It does not appear to me necessary to dwell longer on 
the things concerning these valleys, for I have already 
written down the principal things I saw or was able to 
obtain notice of. I will conclude, therefore, by sapng that 
there are now few natives, and that in ancient times there 
were palaces and store-houses in all the valleys, the tribute 
rendered to the Kings Yncas being conveyed partly to 
Cuzco, partly to Hatuncolla, partly to Vilcas, and partly to 
Caxamalca. The principal grandeur of the Yncas was in 
the Sierro. I now pass on to the valleys of Tarapaca. 

It is certain that there are very rich mines in these 

' This account of the use of guano by the ancient Peruvians is exceed- 
ingly curious. Garcilasso de la Vega also describes the use made by 
them of the deposits of guano on the coast. He says: " On the shores 
of the sea, from below Arequipa to Tarapaca, which is more than two 
hundred leagTies of coast, they use no other manure than that of sea birds, 
which abound in all the coasts of Peru, and go in such great flocks that 
it would be incredible to one who had not seen them. They breed on 
certain uninhabited islands which are on that coast ; and the manure which 
they deposit is in such quantities that it would ahnost seem incredible. 
In the time of the kings, who were Yncas, such care was taken to guard 
these birds in the breeding season, that it was not laA\'ful for any one to 
land on the isles, on pain of death, that the birds might not be frightened, 
nor driven from their nests. Neither was it lawful to kill them at any 
time, either on the island or elsewhere, also on pain of death. Each 
island was, by the Yncas, set apart for the use of a particular province, 
and the guano was fairly divided, each village receiving a due portion" 
(ii, lib. V, cap. iii). See also Antiguedades Feruanax, p. 77. 

Frezier mentions that, when he was on the coast in 1713, guano was 
brought from Iquique, and other ports along the coast, and landed at 
Arica and Ylo, for the aji and other crops. Frezier's South Sea, p. 152. 


valleys of Tarapaca, of white and resplendent silver. Fur- 
ther on, I am told by those who have travelled in these 
parts, there are some deserts which extend to the borders 
of the government of Chile.^ Along- all this coast they kill 
fish, some of them good, and the Indians make balsas of 
sealskin for their fisliing ; and in some parts there are so 
many seals that the noise they make when congregating 
too:ether is a thino- worth hearing. 


Of the founding of the city of Arcquipa, how it was founded, and 
who was its founder. 

The distance from the City of the Kings to that of Arequipa 
is one hundred and twenty leagues. The city of Arequipa 
is built in the valley of Quilca, fourteen leagues from the sea, 
in the most healthy and best part for building. The situa- 
tion and climate of this city is so good that it is praised as 
the most healthy in all Peru, and the most pleasant. The 
country yields very good wheat, of which they make ex- 
cellent bread. The jurisdiction of the city extends from 
Acari to Tarapaca, and there are also some villages belong- 
ing to it in the province of Condesuyo. Hubinas, Chiqui- 
guanita, Quimistaca, and Collaguas are villages belonging- 
to this city, which were formerly very populous, and pos- 
sessed many flocks of sheep. The civil wars of the Span- 
iards have now destroyed the greater part both of the 
natives and of the sheep. The Indians who were natives of 
these mountain villages worshipped the sun, and buried their 
chiefs in great tombs, in the same manner as was practised 
by other Indians. They all go about clothed in shirts and 
> Tlie desert of Atacama. 


mantles. Ancient royal roads traversed these parts, made 
for tlie Kings ; tliere were palaces and store-honses, and all 
tlie natives gave tribute of their crops. This city of Ai^e- 
quipa, being so near a seaport^ is well supplied with Spanish 
goods, and most of the treasure which is sent from Charcas 
comes here, and is put on board ships which are generally 
lying off Quilca, to be taken to the city of the Kings. 

Some Indians and Christians declare that, opposite to 
Acari, but very far out at sea, there are some large and rich 
islands, and it is publicly reported that much gold is 
brought from them to trade with the natives of this coast. 
I left Peru in 1550, and in that year the Lords of the Royal 
Audience charged the captain Gomez de Sohs with the dis- 
covery of these islands. It is believed that they must be 
rich, if they exist. 

* Concerning the founding of the city of Arequipa I have 
only to say that, when it was founded, it was in another 
place, and that it was removed to its present site, as being 
more convenient.^ Near it there is a volcano, which some 
fear will burst forth and do mischief.^ Sometimes there are 
great earthquakes in this city,^ which the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro founded and settled, in the name of his 
Majesty, in the year of our redemption 1540. 

• The original site was in the rear of the little village of Cayma. 

2 The splendid volcano of Misti rises immediately in the rear of the 
city of Arequipa, in a perfect cone capped with snow, to a height of 
18,000 feet above the level of the sea, or, according to Pentland, 20,300 

^ The most terrible earthquakes at Arequijia, took place as follows : — 

January 2, 


August 22, 


February 18, 


May 13, 


November 23 

, 1604 


December 9, 


July 10, 



October 9, 


ISIay 20, 


June 3, 

1848. Between 10 

Ai)ril 23, 


P.M. and 2 a.m. 

there were forty 

October 21, 


terrific shocks. 



In which it is declared how that, beyond the province of Iluancabamba, 
there is that of Caxamarca, and other large and very populous 

In most of tlie provinces of this great kingdom the natives 
imitate each other so closely that^ in many things, one may 
say that they all seem to be one people ; and for this reason 
I touch briefly upon such matters in some parts of my work, 
because I have treated more fully of them in others. 

Now that I have finished all I have to say concerning the 
coast valleys, I shall return to the mountains, I have already 
written an account of the villages and edifices from Quito to 
Loxa, and of the province of Huancabamba, where I halted, 
in order to treat of the foundation of San Miguel and of 
other subjects. Returning now to the former route, it 
seems to me that the distance from Huancabamba to the 
province of Caxamarca is fifty leagues, a Httle more or less. 
This province is famous as the scene of Atahualpa's im- 
prisonment, and is noted throughout the kingdom for its 
riches. The natives of Caxamarca state that they were 
much esteemed by their neighbours before the Yncas sub- 
dued them, and that they had their temples and places of 
worship in the loftier parts of the mountains. Some of 
them say that they were first subdued by the Ynca Yupan- 
qui, others that it was not so, but that his son Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui first conquered them. Whoever it may have 
been, it is stated positively that before he became lord of 
Caxamarca, they killed the greater part of his troops, and 
that they were brought under his yoke more by intrigues and 
by soft and winning speeches than by force.^ The native 

> After the armies of Ynca Pachacutec, under the command of his 
brother, the able general Ccapac Yupanqui, had conquered the Huanca 
nation, that commander invaded the province of Caxamarca in al)out 


ch-iefs of this province were mucli respected by their Indians, 
and they had many women. One of the wives was the 
principal, and her son, if she had one, succeeded in the 
lordship. When the chiefs died the same customs were 
observed as have already been described. Their wives and 
riches were buried with them, and there was much and 
long-continued lamentation. Their temples and places of 
worship were much venerated, and the blood of sheep and 
lambs was offered up as sacrifice. They say that the 
ministers of these temples conversed with the devil; and 
when they celebrated their festivals, they assembled a vast 
concourse of people in a clear open space, and performed 
dances, during which they consumed no small quantity of 
wine made from maize. They all go dressed in mantles 
and rich tunics, and wear a peculiar head-dress as a dis- 
tinguishing mark, being narrow cords in the manner of a 

AVhen the Yncas had subdued this pro^^nce of Caxa- 
marca, it is said that they valued it greatly, and ordered 

1380 A.D. The natives replied to the usual Yucarial summons, by saying 
that they had no need for new gods or new laws beyond those which they 
had received from their ancestors. The Yucarial troops were victorious 
in the open ground, but the natives of Caxamarca then retreated into their 
fortified strongholds, and made contmual forays. Thus the war lasted 
for fom- months, but the Ynca general lost no opportunity of ingTatiating 
himself with the enemy, setting the jirisoners at liberty, curing the 
wounded, and sending messages of peace and amity to the hostile chiefs. 
At last the people of Caxamarca began to reflect that they might meet 
a harder fate than that of submitting to rulers who, wliile they were able 
to kill, treated their prisoners with so much kindness. The chiefs sent in 
their submission, and were confirmed in their privileges, while the pro- 
vince of Caxamarca became an integral part of the empire of the Yncas. 
The general Ccapac Yupanqui was accompanied in this campaign by his 
youtlrful nephew the Ynca Yupanqui, who afterwards succeeded his 
father Tachacutec as tenth Ynca of Peru. 

It was by this enlightened policy of conciUation, accompanied by 
vigorous movements in the field, tliat most of the conquests of the Yncas 
were effected. G. de la Vega, i, lib. vi, cap. xv. 


palaces and a very grand temple of the sun to be built, 
besides many store-houses. The virgins of the temple were 
employed in weaving very fine cloths, which they dyed 
with better and more perfect colours than can be done in 
most other parts of the world. In this temple there were 
great riches for its services ; and on certain days the 
ministers saw the devil, with whom they had intercourse 
and converse. There were a great number of Mitimaes in 
this province of Caxamarca, obeying the sujDerintendent, who 
had orders to collect tribute and bear rule over the province. 
The officers in charge of store-houses in various parts of the 
country came to him to give an account of their charge, for 
he was the chief officer in these districts, and also bore rule 
over many of the coast valleys. And although the people 
on the coast had the temples and sanctuaries already 
described by me, and many others, yet many of them came 
to worship the sun, and to offer sacrifices. There are many 
things worthy of note in the palaces of the Yncas, especially 
some very fine baths, where the chiefs bathed when they 
were lodged in those edifices.^ 

' The valley of Caxamarca (^Ccasa, " frost," and marca^ " tower" or 
" house" in Quichua) is about five leagues long and three broad. It is 
intersected with green hedges enclosing himdreds of small plots bearing 
liixm-iant crops, and a river winds from one extremity to the other. 
Himiboldt believed this valley to be the bottom of an ancient lake. The 
soU is extremely fertile, and the plain is full of gardens and fields, tra- 
veled by avenues of daturas, willows, and the beautiful quenuar tree 
{Polylepis villosa). In the northern part of the plain, small porphyritic 
domes break thi'ough the sandstone strata, and probably once fonned 
islands in the ancient lake, before its waters had flowed off. 

Atahualpa had a palace at the warm sulphur baths of Pultamarca, in 
tliis plain, some shght remains of which can still be traced. The large 
deep basin, forming the baths, appears to have been artificially excavated 
in the sandstone rock above one of the fissures through which the spring 
issues. There are also slight remains of the fort and palace of Atahualpa 
in the town. The palace was situated on a hill of porphyry. The most 
considerable ruins still visible are only from thirteen to fifteen feet high, 
and consist of fine cut blocks of stone two or tlirce feet long, and placed 


Now the province of Caxamarca is much diminislied in 
importance ; for when Huayna Ccapac^ the rightful king of 
these realms, died in the very year that the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro, with his thirteen companions, by the 
grace of God, discovered this prosperous kingdom, his 
first-born and general heir, Huascar, being the eldest son 
that he had by his legitimate wife the Ccoya (which is the 
name of the Queen), took the fringe and crown of the whole 
kingdom,^ as soon as his father^s death was known in 
Cuzco. He sent messengers in all directions, with orders 
that, since his father was dead, all men should obey him as 
sole lord. But, during the war of Quito, waged by Huayna 
Ccapac, the great captains Chalcuchima, Quizquiz, Yncla- 
hualpec, and Rumi-iiaui had been engaged, who were very 
famous, and had intrigued to make another new Cuzco 
in Quito, and to form a kingdom in the northern pro- 
vince, divided and separated from Cuzco. They wished 
to take for their lord a noble and very intelligent youth 
named Atahualpa, who was well beloved by all the veteran 
soldiers and captains, for he had set out with his father 
from Cuzco at a tender age, and marched with the army for 

upon each other without cement. The cacique Astopilco, a descendant 
of Atahualpa, resided in a part of these ruins at the time when Hum- 
boldt and Stevenson visited Caxamarca. The room was shown them, 
where the unhappy Atahualpa was kept a prisoner for nine months in 
1532-33. HumboldCs Aspects. Stevenson^ ii, cap. v. 

Prescott gives the amount of gold collected for Atahualpa's ransom at 
Caxamarca at 1,326,539 pesos de oro., besides 51, CIO marcs of silver. 
(From Xeres., in Barcia's Coll.^ iii, p. 232. Xeres was Pizarro's secre- 
tary.) The peso or castellano de oro was equal, in commercial value, to 
£2 : 12 : 6 ; so that the gold alone, of this ransom, was worth £3,500,000. 
Prescott^ i, p. 425. 

1 "When Pizarro rudely pulled Atahualpa from his chair, and took hun 
prisoner, a soldier named INliguel Astete tore the crimson fringe, the 
token of his sovereignty, from his forehead. Astete kejit the fringe until 
1557, when he gave it to Sayri Tupac, the son of Ynca ]\Ianco, who was 
recognized as Ynca, and received a pension from the viceroy ]Marquis of 


a long time. Some Indians even say that Huayna Ccapac 
himself, before his death, reflecting that the kingdom which 
he left was so vast as to extend along a thousand leagues of 
coast, determined to leave Quito and his other conquests to 
Atahualpa. However this may be, it is certain that, when 
Atahualpa and his followers knew that Huascar desired them 
to yield obedience to him, they took up arms. It is said, 
however, that at first, by the cunning of one captain Atoco, 
Atahualpa was made prisoner in the province of Tumebamba, 
and that he escaped by the help of a woman, and reached 
Quito, where he assembled his troops. He gave battle to the 
captain Atoco near Ambato, and the army of Huascar was 
then defeated, as I shall more fully relate in the third part 
of this work, in which I treat of the discovery and conquest 
of this kingdom. As soon as the defeat and death of 
Atoco were known in Cuzco, the captains Huancauque and 
Yncaroque, with a large force, set out from Cuzco by order 
of the King Huascar, and waged a great war with Ata- 
hualpa, to force him to yield obedience to the rightful 
King Huascar. Atahualpa not only refused to do this, 
but sought to obtain the kingdom for himself. Thus there 
was a great struggle, and it is affirmed by the Indians 
themselves that more than 100,000 men were killed in the 
wars and battles, in which Atahualpa was always victorious.^ 

^ This account differs slightly from that given by Garcilasso de la 
Vega, which is as follows. 

After the death of the Ynca Huayna Ccapac in 1526, his two sons, 
Huascar and Atahualpa, reigned peaceably for about four or five years, 
the former at Cuzco, and the latter at Quito. At last the elder brother 
became jealous of the power of his rival at Quito, and sent an envoy 
demanding that he should do him homage as sole and sovereign lord. 
Atahualpa replied that he would most willingly submit to the rule of the 
Ynca, and announced his intention of making a journey to Cuzco, accom- 
panied by all his vassals, to take an oath of obedience, and to celebrate 
the obsequies of their common father. Under this feigned submission 
Atahualpa concealed the treacherous intention of attacking and dethron- 
ing his brother. He collected thirty thousand armed Indians luider the 


At last lie came witli his army to tlie province of Caxa- 
marca (which is the reason that I treat of his history in this 

command of his two generals Challcucliima and Qiiizquiz, and sent them 
by different ways towards Cuzco, disguised as ordinary serving men. 
Huascar had so little suspicion of treachery that he ordered these men to 
be supplied with clotliing and provisions on the road. The passage of so 
many armed men through the provinces, excited the alarm of several 
veteran governors, who warned Huascar of his danger ; but meanwhile 
the forces of Atahualpa had crossed the river Apm-imac without opposi- 
tion, and, raising their banners, threw off the mask and advanced as open 
enemies. Thorouglily alarmed, Huascar siuumoned the chiefs of the 
southern, eastern, and western districts, Colla-suyu, Anti-suyu, and 
Cunti-suyu. Cliincha-suyu, the northern province, was ah-eady in the 
power of Atahualpa. Those of Cimti-suyu alone had time to join the 
Ynca, with thirty thousand undiscipKned Indians. The forces of Ata- 
hualpa advanced to the attack without delay, in order that there might 
be no time for more reinforcements to reach Cuzco, and a desperate 
battle was fought at a place called Quepaypa (Hterally of my trumpet)^ 
a few leagues west of Cuzco. Garcilasso mentions that, as a boy at school 
in Cuzco, he twice visited this battle field, when out hawking in the 
neighbourhood. The battle lasted dui-ing the whole day. At last the 
veteran troops of Atahualpa, who had served in all his father's wars, 
triumphed over the raw levies of his more peaceful brother, Huascar was 
taken prisoner after a thousand of his body guard had fallen around him, 
and most of his faithful curacas or chiefs volimtarily sm-rendered, in 
order to share the fate of their beloved lord. This battle took place in 
1532. Atahualpa was not present at the battle, but he hm-ried to Cuzco 
on hearing of his victory. l\Jiowing that, according to the ancient laws 
of the empire, he, as an illegitimate sou, could not inlierit the crown ; he 
resolved to put all the legitimate heii-s out of his way by indiscruninate 
slaughter. Not only did he order all his haK -brothers to be put to death, 
but also his imcles, nephews, and cousins of the blood royal, and most of 
the faithful nobles of Huascar. One of the Ynca's wives, named Mama 
Huarcay, fled Avith her little daughter Coya Cusi Huarcay, who after- 
wards married Sayri Tupac, the Ynca who was pensioned by the marquis 
of Cauete in 1553. Out of so large a family several other members also 
escaped from the fate intended for them by the cruel Atahualpa. Among 
these were the mother of the historian Garcilasso de la Vega, and her 
brother Hualpa Tupac Ynca Yupanqui ; ISlanco, PauUu, and Titu, legi- 
timate sons of Huayna Ccapac ; and several princesses, who were baptised 
after the conquest. Of these, Beatrix Coya married Don Martin de 
ISIustincia (the royal accountant), and had three sons ; Leonora Coya 
married Don ,Tuan Balsa, by Ashuui she had a sou — a schoolfellow of 


part), and here lie first heard of the strange people who 
had entered the country, and who were then not far off. 
Thinking it certain that it would be very easy to capture 
them and hold them as his servants, he ordered his captain 
Chalcuchima to march to Cuzco with a great army, and 
either seize or kill his enemy. Meanwhile he himself re- 
mained in Caxamarca, at which place the governor Don 
Francisco Pizarro arrived, and afterwards those events took 
place which ended in the encounter between the forces of 
Atahualpa and the Spaniards (who did not number more than 
one hundi-ed and fifty men) , the death of many Indians, and 
the imprisonment of Atahualpa. Owing to these troubles, and 
to the length of time that the Christian Spaniards remained 
there, Caxamarca received much damage, and as, for our 
sins, there have never ceased to be civil wars, it has not 
recovered. It is held in encomienda by the captain Mel- 
chor Verdugo, a citizen of Truxillo.^ All the edifices of 

Garcilasso, and secondly Don Francisco de Villacastin ; and there were 
about a hundred other survivors of Ynca blood. The Ynca Huascar him- 
self was thrown into prison at Xauxa, and murdered by order of Ata- 
hualpa, after the latter had been made prisoner by Pizarro. Huascar 
was a mild and amiable prince, and fell a victim to his guileless and 
unsuspicioiLS disposition. G. de la Vega, i, lib. ix, caps. 32 to 40. 

This is the version given by Garcilasso de la Vega of the war between 
Huascar and Atahualpa. As a descendant of the Yncas he was of course 
strongly prejudiced in favour of his maternal ancestors, and his account 
of Atahualpa's cruelties after his victory, are probably much exaggerated. 
At the same time no one covdd have had better opportunities of obtaining 
authentic information, and doubtless the principal facts are correct. 

Velasco defends the conduct of Atahualpa through thick and thin. As 
a native of the province of Quito, he naturally takes the part of the last 
sovereign of Ids own country, whose subsequent misfortunes throw a veil 
over his cruelties and treason to the Yncas of Cuzco. Hist, de Quito, ii, 
p. 76. 

1 Melchor Verdugo was a native of the town of Avila, in Spain. He dis- 
tinguished himself in the battle of Chupas, fighting against the younger 
AhnagTO, and, receiving the district of Caxamarca in encomienda, settled 
himself at Truxillo. As a townsman and partizan of the ill-fated viceroy 
Blasco Nuuez, he was in bad odour with the pai'ty of Gonzalo Pizarro, and 



the Yncas and the storehouses are^ like the rest^ in a ruin- 
ous condition. 

This province of Caxamarca is very fertile^ and yields 
wheat like another Sicily. They also breed stock, and 
raise abundance of maize and of edible roots, and of all the 
fruits which I have mentioned as growing in other parts. 
Besides these, there are falcons, many partridges, doves, 
pigeons, and other game. The natives are well-mannered, 
peaceful, and amongst themselves they have some good 
customs, so as to pass through this 'life without care. 
They think little of honour, and are not ambitious of having 
any, but they are hospitable to Christians who pass through 
their province, and give them good food, without doing 
them any evil turn, even when the traveller is solitary. 
For these and other things the Spaniards praise the In- 
dians of Caxamarca. They are very ingenious in forming 
irrigating channels, building houses, cultivating the land, 
breeding stock, and in working gold and silver. They also 
make, with their hands, as good tapestry from the wool of 
their sheep as is to be found in Flanders, and so fine that 

was seized by Carbajal, but evaded pursuit, and was concealed by his 
Indians at Caxamarca until lie thought it safe to return to Truxillo. He 
escajied from Peru by an act of unsurpassed audacity. A vessel arrived at 
the port of Tnixillo, from Callao, and Verdugo resolved to seize her. He, 
therefore, collected about twenty armed men, upon whom he could depend, 
and concealed them in his house. He, then, sent for the master and pilot, 
saying that he wanted to ship some merchandise for Panama, and as soon 
as he got them into his house he locked them up. Presently the alcaldes 
of the town walked down the street with a notary, and Yerdugo, throw- 
ing open a window, called out to them to come in, as he w^anted them to 
witness a deed, and could not come out to them, owing to a disease in his 
legs. They entered, without suspecting anything, and were immediately 
put in irons and locked up with the master and pilot of the ship. Re- 
turning to his window, Yerdugo continued to call up people he saw 
passing, saying he had something to say to them, until he had more than 
twenty of the principal people of the town, of Gonzalo Pizarro's party, 
safely locked up. He then told them that he would take them all in the 
ship with him, unles.s they paid a ransom, and, after thus collecting a 


the threads of it look like silk, although they are only wool. 
The women are amorous, and some of them are beautiful. 
They go dressed in the same way as the Fallas, or ladies of 
Cuzco. The temples and huacas are now in ruins, and the 
idols are broken, many of the Indians having become 
Christians. There are always priests and friars among 
them, teaching them our holy Catholic faith. 


Of the foundation of the city of the frontier, who was its founder, and 
of some customs of the Indians in the province. 

Before reaching this province of Caxamarca, a road branches 
off, which was also made by order of the Kings Yncas. It 
leads to the country of the Chachapoyas, where the city of 
the frontier is built. It will be necessary to relate how it 
was founded, and I shall then pass on to. treat of Huanuco. 
I hold it to be quite certain that, before the Spaniards con- 
quered this country of Peru, the Yncas, who were its natural 
lords, had great wars and made many conquests. The 
Chachapoyas Indians were conquered by them, although 
they first, in order to defend their Hberty, and to Hve in 
ease and tranquilHty, fought with such fury that the 
Yncas fled before them. But the power of the Yncas 
was so great that the Chachapoyas Indians were finally 
forced to become servants to those Kings, who desired to 

large sum of money in gold and silver, he went on board, and sailed for 
Nicaragua ; where his ship was seized by Palomino, an officer serving 
under Hinojosa, Gonzalo Pizarro's admiral at Panama. Verdugo then 
collected three small vessels in the lake of Nicaragua, and, descending the 
river, entered the sea and sailed to Xombre de Dios, and thence to Car- 
thagena. After the arrival of the president Gasca at Panama, Yerdugo 
returned to Spain, and received the habit of Santiago from the Emperor. 
Eventually he returned to his estates in Peru. Zarate^ lib. vi, cap. vi, etc. 


extend tlieir sway over all people.^ As soon as tlie royal 
government of the Yncas was establislied, many persons 
came from Cuzco to secure its continuance, who received 
land to cultivate, and sites for their houses, not very far 
from a hill called Carmenca, close to the present city. As 
there were disturbances in the provinces bordering on Cha- 
chapoyas, the Yncas ordered frontier garrisons to be esta- 
blished under the command of some of the Orejones, to 
overawe the natives. For this reason there were great 
stores of all the arms used by the Ynca soldiers, to be ready 
in case of need. 

These Indians of Chachapoyas are the most fair and good- 
looking of any that I have seen in the Indies, and tlieir 
women are so beautiful that many of them were worthy to 
be wives of the Yncas, or inmates of the temples of the 
sun. To this day the Indian women of this race are ex- 
ceedingly beautiful, for they are fair and well formed. They 
go dressed in woollen cloths, like their husbands, and on 
their heads they wear a certain fringe, the sign by which 
they may be known in all parts. After they were subjugated 
by the Yncas, they received the laws and customs according 
to which they lived, from them. They adored the sun and 
other gods, like the rest of the Indians, and resembled them 
in other customs, such as the burial of their dead and con- 
versing with the devil. 

The marshal Don Alouzo de Alvarado, being a captain 

' Chachapoyas was a district to the eastward of Caxamarca, inhabited 
by brave men aud beautiful women, according to Garcilasso de la Vega. 
Their chief god was tlie condor, and they also woi-shipped snakes. These 
Indians were attacked by the Ynca Tupac Yupanqui, and a fierce war 
ensued. They defended themselves in fortresses perched on inaccessible 
heights, and were only dislodged after a prolonged resistance. After the 
death of their conqueror, they rebelled against his son Huayna Ccapac, 
but were again subdued and pardoned. The modern town of Chacha- 
poyas gives its name to a bishopric, with a diocese extending over that 
part of the vast forest-covered region of the Amazon and its tributaries 
which lies within tlie boimdaries of Peru. 


under tlie Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, entered this pro- 
vince.^ After he had conquered it, and reduced the natives to 
the service of his Majesty, he peopled and founded the city of 
the frontier in a strong place called Levanto, and began to 
prepare the ground for building with spades and pickaxes ; 
but in a few days he removed to another province, which is 
considered healthy, inhabited by the Huancas.^ The Cha- 
chapoyas Indians and these Huancas serve the citizens of 
the new city who hold encomiendas over them, and the same 
thing is done in the province called Cascayunca, and in 
others which I refrain from mentioning, as I have seen little 
of them. In all these provinces there were great store- 
houses of the Yncas ; the villages are very healthy, and 
near some of them there are rich gold mines. All the natives 
go about in clothes, men as well as women. They sacrificed 
to their gods, and had great flocks of sheep. They made 
rich and valuable cloth for the Yncas, and they still make 
it, as well as such fine and beautiful tapestry as would be 
highly esteemed anywhere. In many parts of the provinces 
subject to this city, there are trees and fruits like those 
already described. The land is fertile, and wheat and 
barley yield well, as well as vines, fig-trees, and other fruit 
trees of Spain that have been planted. In customs, cere- 
monies, modes of burial, and sacrifices, the same may be 
said of these Indians as of all the others, for they also 
buried their dead in great tombs, accompanied by live 
women and their riches. 

> Alonzo de Alvarado, a brother of Cortes's famous companion, was 
detached by Pizarro with, orders to conquer Chachapoyas ; but he was 
so constantly engaged in the ci\dl wars, until his death, that he had 
little time to spare in conquering and settling this province ; which duty 
devolved upon his second son. 

2 The Huancas were the inhabitants of the valley of Xauxa, or more 
properly Sausa. They are described by Garcilasso as living in small 
Adllages strongly fortified, and worehiijping dogs. The Huancas men- 
tioned by Cieza de Leon, were probably MUimaes sent into the Chacha- 
poyas district by the Yncas. 


The Spaniards have farms in the vicinity of the city for 
their crops and animals^ where they reap a great quantity 
of wheat J and the legumes of Spain also yield well. The 
Cordillera of the Andes passes to the eastward of the- city, 
and to the west is the South Sea. Beyond the woods and 
fastnesses of the Andes is Moyobamba/ and other very 
large rivers, and some villages of Indians who are less 
civihsed than those I have been describing; as I shall 
repeat in the account of the conquest made by the captain 
Alonzo de Alvarado in Chachapoyas, and by Juan Perez de 
Guevara in the provinces which are situated in the forests. 
It may be held for certain that the land in this part is 
peopled by the descendants of the famous captain Anco- 
allo, who, owing to the cruelty of the captains-general of the 
Ynca towards him, fled from his native country, and went 
away with those Chancas who desired to follow him,- as I 

• ISIoyobamba is now the chief town of the modern province of Loreto, 
which inckides all the course of the Amazon and its tributaries within the 
boundaries of Peru. It contains about fom'teen thousand inhabitants, and is 
built near the river Mayo, an affluent of the Huallaga. The ground consists 
of sandstone, which is easily washed away by the heavy rains, and deep 
ravines have been formed in the course of time, some of them thirty and 
forty yards deep, which intersect and break up the town. The inhabit- 
ants are employed in making straw hats, which are exported to Brazil. 
Apuntes^ &ca.^ por Aniotiio Raimondy^ p. 60. 

^ The Chanca Indians originally inhabited the valley of Andahuaylas, 
between Cuzco and Guamanga. They were invaded by the Ynca Rocca, 
sixth in descent from Manco Ccapac, and obliged to submit to his yoke. 
But soon after the accession of Rocca's son Yahuar-huaccac, the Chancas 
rose in rebeUion under their chief Anco-huallu, a youth of twenty-six 
years of age. The pusillanimous Ynca not only neglected to march 
against him, but even abandoned Cuzco, and retreated in an oj^posite 
direction. His son Huira-ccocha, however, was a man of different metal. 
He led an army against the insurgents, and utterly defeated them in a 
bloody and well-contested battle on the Yahuar-pampa, or " plain of 
blood." Anco-huallu received a full pardon, and for ten years he continued 
to reside in his native valley as a. tributary chief. But this dependent jjosi- 
tion was di.stasteful to him, and eventually he emigrated with eight thou- 
sand followers, and settled in the forests of the ISIoyobamba district. 


shall relate in the second part. Fame relates wonderful 
things of a lake, on the shores of which it is said that the 
villages of these people are built. 

In the year of our Lord 1550 there arrived at the city of 
the frontier (the noble cavalier Gomez de Alvarado being 
then its governor) more than two hundred Indians, who re- 
lated that it was some years since a. great body of them 
started from the land where they lived, and travelled over 
many provinces, but that they had fought so many battles 
that only the number of men I have mentioned were left. 
These Indians declare that to the eastward there are vast 
and populous regions, some of them very rich in gokP and 
silver. These Indians, with those who were killed, set out 
to seek new lands for their homes, at least so I have heard.^ 
The captain Gomez de Alvarado, the captain Juan Perez de 
Guevara, and others, have demanded the grant of this 

Garcilasso tells us that the exact position of his new settlement was never 
exactly known, the report merely stating that he descended a great river, 
and cstabUshed his people on the banks of a beautiful lake. Mr. Spruce 
has suggested that Anco-huallu and his Chancas conquered ]\Ioyobamba, 
and drove the original inhabitants out, who, descending the Huallaga and 
Amazon, settled between the rivers Ucayali, Marauon, and Yavari, and 
were the progenitors of the fierce and untameable modern tribe of Afat/o- 
ruims (^Mayu^ a river, and runa^ a man in Quichua). G. de la Vega^ i, 
hb. V, cap. 26. 

' The word for gold in Quichua is ccuri. In theTuj^i language, which 
was prevalent among the Indians of the river Amazon, the word curt 
means coloured earths, much used in plastering huts, and for other pur- 
poses. It is very probable that Spaniards from Peru who descended into 
the valley of the Amazon, asked for ccuri (gold), and were told there 
was plenty of curi (coloured earth) ; and that from tliis mistake the fame 
of the wealth of Omagua and El Dorado arose. 

2 For an account of tins remarkable emigration of Indians from Brazil, 
see my Introduction to the Expedition of Pedro de Ursua ('' Search for 
El Dorado.^' Hakluyt Society's volume for 1861, p. xxviii, and p. 2 
of the text.) Their chief, named Yu-aratu, was sent to Lima, and it was 
hLs reix)rt that led to the organisation of the expedition in search of 
El Dorado and Omagua, which descended the Amazon in 1559, under 
Pedro de Ureua, and met with so tragic a fate. 


region, and many soldiers have waited on the viceroy for 
permission to follow these captains, if they receive a com- 
mission to make this discovery. 

The city of the frontier was founded and settled by the 
captain Alonzo de Alvarado, in the name of his Majesty, 
the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro being his governor 
of Peru, in the year of our redemption 1536. 


Which treats of the foundation of the city of Leon de Iluauuco, and 
who -was its founder. 

To describe the founding of the city of Leon de Huanuco, 
it must be understood, first, that when the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro founded the rich City of the Bangs in the 
valleys and deserts of the coasts, all the provinces which 
were then within the jurisdiction of that city had to do ser- 
vice, and the citizens held encomiendas over the chiefs. 
And the tyrant Yllatopa, with other Indians of his tribe, 
waged war against the natives of the district, and ruined 
the villages, so that the repartimientos became excessive. 
At the same time many of. the conquerors were without any 
encomienda of Indians. The Marquis was, therefore, de- 
sirous of gratifying these Spaniards, especially some who 
had followed the Adelantado Don Diego de Almagro, and 
had afterwards become his friends, by giving them Indians. 
He wished to satisfy those who had laboured for his Majesty 
by giving them some profit from the land ; and, notwith- 
standing that the municipality of the City of the Kings 
protested against what they thought might be to their 
detriment, he named the captain Gomez de Alvarado, 
brother to the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado, as his 


lieutenant to found a city in the province called Huanuco, 
with a small force of Spanish soldiers. Thus Gomez de 
Alvarado set out, and, after some encounters with the 
natives, he founded the city of Leon de Huanuco, and 
named persons to hold offices in it. After some years the 
new city was abandoned on account of the general insurrec- 
tion throughout the kingdom. Pedro Barroso returned to 
build this city again. Finally, with powers from the Hcen- 
tiate Cristoval Vaca de Castro, after the bloody battle of 
Chupas, Pedro de Puelles completed the settlement, Juan 
de Varagas and others having previously captured the 
tyrant Yllatopa. It may, therefore, be said that Gomez 
de Alvarado founded the city, for he gave it the name it 
now bears, and if it was abandoned afterwards, this was 
more from necessity than from inclination. It was founded 
in the name of his Majesty, by the authority of the Marquis 
Don Francisco Pizarro, his governor and captain-general 
in this kingdom, in the year of the Lord 1539. 


Of the situation of tliis city, of the fertility of its fields, and of the 
customs of its inhabitants : also concerning a beautiful edifice or 
palace of the Yncas at Huanuco. 

The situation of this city of Leon do Huanuco is good, and 
is considered very healthy. It is praised as a place where 
the nights and mornings are cool, and where men are 
healthy, owing to a good climate. They reap wheat and 
maize in great abundance, and they also have grapes, figs, 
oranges, lemons, Hmes, and other fruits of Spain; and of 
the fi^uits of the country there are many kinds which are 
excellent. They grow the pulses of Spain, and besides all 


these there are large banana plantations. Thus it is a 
prosperous town^ and there is hope that it will increase 
every day. They breed many cows^ goats^ and mares in 
the fields^ and have abundance of pigeons^ doves^ partridges, 
and other birds, as well as falcons to fly at them.^ In the 
forests there are some lions and very large bears, besides 
other animals. The royal roads passed through the villages 
near this city, and *here were store-houses of the Yncas, 
well supplied with provisions. 

In Huanuco there was a fine royal edifice, the stones of 
which were large and very accurately set. This palace was 
the chief place in the pro^nnces of the Andes, and near it 
there was a temple of the sun, with many virgins and priests. 
It was so grand a place in the time of the Yncas, that more 
than 30,000 Indians were set apart solely for its service.^ 

> The climate of Huanuco is delightful. The thermometer seldom rises 
above 72° in the shade, nor sinks below 66°, and no place in the world 
equals it as a retreat for patients suffering from diseases of the lungs — 
but it is terribly inaccessible. The plain stOl, as in the days of Cieza de 
Leon, yields wheat and maize, bananas, figs, coifee, cotton, grapes, pome- 
granates, oranges, lemons, citrons, and limes. Sniith''s Peru As It Is. 

2 The ruins of the Huanuco palace or temple are chiefly interesting 
from the six portals, one witliin the other, which are well preserved. 
There is also a species of look out, which was probably the place where 
the priests offered their sacrifices to the sun. The architecture of these 
ruins is very distinct from that of other Ynca edifices, and would appear 
to be of earher date. The Indians know these ruins by the name of 
Auqui Huanuco. The look out is 56 paces long by 36 in width, the height 
of the waU five yards, and inchned inwards from the base. It rests upon 
two courses of round stone, about five feet high. The walls are of cut 
stone and terminate in a cornice, the stones being 4^ feet long and 1| feet 
thick. Tlie interior is composed of gravel and clay, and in the centre 
there is a large cavity, wliich is said to communicate with the palace by 
a subterranean passage. The look out is approached by a steep ramp 
or inclined plane, and two figures of animals are carved on either side of 
the entrance. 

The palace is entered by six portals. On entering the first there are 
halls, 100 yards long by 14 wide, on either side. The walls are built of 
round stones mixed with clay, the doorways alone having cut stone. These 
doorways are 9 feet high and 4i broad, the lintels being of a single stone, 


The overseers of the Indians had charge of the collection of 
tribute^ and the people of the surrounding districts assisted 
the work at the palace with their services. When the Kings 
Yncas ordered that the lords of the provinces should appear 
personally at the court of Cuzco, they came. It is said that 
the Indians of many of these nations were hardy and vahant, 
and thatj before the Yncas subjugated them, they had many 
cruel wars, so that the people were scattered and did not 
know each other, except when they gathered together at 
their assembles and festivals. They built fortresses on the 
heights, and carried on wars with each other on very slight 
provocation. Their temples were in places convenient for 
making sacrifices and performing other superstitious rites, 
and where those could hear the replies of the devil who 
were set apart for that duty. They believed in the immor- 
tality of the soul in that same blind fashion as is common 
with all the other Indians. These Indians of Huanuco are 
intelligent, but they answer Yes ! to everything that is 
asked of them.^ The chiefs, when they died, were not put 
into their tombs alone, but were accompanied by the most 
beautiful of their wives, as is the custom with all the other 
tribes. These dead men lie with their souls outside their 

12 feet long and 1^ thick. The jambs are of a single piece. Tliree yards 
fiu"ther on is the second portal, resembling the first, with two figures 
carved on the upj^er part. This leads into a spacious court, at the other 
end of which are two smaller doorways in a line, leading into a smaller 
covirt, and finally there are two other portals, still smaller, and of sculp- 
tiu:ed stone. Beyond the sLxth portal there are rooms with stone walls 
containing niches, and an aqueduct passes through one of these rooms, 
which is said to have been the bathing place of the Ynca. In front of 
the building there is a broad artificial terrace, and underneath a large 
court, with a receptacle for water in the centre. 

The stones of which the ruins are composed were taken from a ridge 
about half a mile distant, and some are yet to be seen, lying cut in the 

^ In these days a Peruvian Indian answers No ! {Manan canchn) to 
everything that is asked of him. The change is one of the baneful results 
of three centuries of Spanish domination. 


bodies, and the -women who are buried witli them in the 
great vaults await the awful hour of death, holding it to be 
an auspicious and happy thing to go with their husbands and 
lords, and beheving that they will soon again have to do 
them the same service as they did in this world. Thus it 
seemed to them that the sooner they departed from this life 
the sooner they would see their lords and husbands in the 
other. This custom originates, as I have said before on other 
occasions, from the apparition of the devil in the fields and 
houses, in the form of chiefs who had died, accompanied by 
their wives who had been buried ahve. There were some 
sorcerers who watched the signs of the stars amongst these 

After these people were conquered by the Yncas they 
adopted their rites and customs. In each of their villages 
there were royal store-houses, and they adopted more decent 
ways of dressing and ornamenting themselves, and spoke 
the general language of Cuzco in confoi'mity with the law 
and edict of the Kings, which ordered that all their subjects 
should know and speak it. 

The Conchucos, the great provinces of Huaylos, Tamara, 
Bombon, and other districts large and small, are under 
the jurisdiction of this city of Leon de Huanuco ; they are 
all very fertile and productive, yielding many edible roots 
which are wholesome and nourishing, and good for the 
sustenance of animal life. In former times there was so 
great a number of flocks of sheep that they could not be 
counted, but the late wars have caused their destruction to 
such an extent that very few remain. The natives preserve 
them for the sake of their fleeces, from which they make 
their woollen clothing. The houses of these Indians are 
built of stone, and thatched with straw. On their heads 
they all wear peculiar head-di'esses of cords, by which they 
are known. Although the devil has had great power over 
them, I have not heard that they commit the abominable 


crime. In truths however, as in all other parts, there must 
bo bad men among them. 

In many parts of this province they find great mines of 
silver, and when the Spaniards begin to work them they 
will yield largely. 


Of what there is to be said concerning the country from Caxamarca to 
the valley of Xauxa ; and of the district of Guamachuco, which 
borders on Caxamarca. 

Having told all that I was able to gather touching the 
foundation of the cities of the frontier of Chachapoyas and 
of Leon de Huanuco, I shall now return to the royal road, 
and describe the provinces between Caxamarca and the beau- 
tiful valley of Xauxa, a distance of eighty leagues, a little 
more or less, all traversed by the royal road of the Yncas. 

Eleven leagues beyond Caxamarca there is another large 
province called Huamachuco, which was once very pojjulous, 
and half way on the road to it there is a very pleasant and 
dehghtful valley. It is surrounded by mountains and is 
therefore cold, but a beautiful river flows through it, on the 
banks of which grow wheat, vines, figs, oranges, lemons, 
and many other plants which have been brought from 
Spain. In ancient times there were buildings for the chiefs 
in the meadows and dales of this vaUey, and many cul- 
tivated fields for them and for the temple of the sun. The 
province of Huamachuco is like that of Caxamarca, and the 
Indians are of the same race, imitating each other in their 
religion and sacrifices, as well as in their clothes and head- 
dress. In times past there were great lords in this province 
of Huamachuco who were highly favoured by the Yncas. 


In the principal part of the province there is a great plain, 
where the tampus and royal palaces were built, amongst 
which there are two the thickness of which was twenty-two 
feet, and the length as much as a horse^s gallop, all made of 
stone, embellished with huge beams, over which the straw 
was laid with much skill. Owing to the late troubles the 
greater part of the population of this province has perished. 
The climate is good, more cold than hot, and the country 
abounds in all things necessary for the sustenance of man. 
Before the Spaniards arrived there were great flocks of 
sheep in the province of Huamachuco, and in the lofty and 
uninhabited mountains there were other wild kinds, called 
guanacos and vicunas, which resemble those which are 

They told me that, in this province, the Yncas had a royal 
chase, and the natives were forbidden to enter it for the 
purpose of killing the wild animals, on pain of death. It 
contained some hons, bears, and deer. When the Ynca de- 
sired to have a royal hunt, he ordered three thousand, four 
thousand, ten thousand, or twenty thousand Indians to 
surround a wide tract of country, and gradually to con- 
verge until they could join hands. The game was thus 
collected in the centre, and it is great fun to see the guana- 
cos, how they jump up into the air with fright, and run from 
one side to the other, seeking for a way to get out. Another 
party of Indians then enters the enclosure, armed with clubs, 
and kiUs the number of animals that the lord requires, 
often ten thousand or fifteen thousand head, such was the 
abundance of these animals.^ They made very precious 

* The Yncas restricted all hunting by their subjects, and the nmnber 
of animals of all descriptions consequently multiplied prodigiously. At 
a certain season of the year, after breeding time, the Yncas and governors 
of provinces held a grand hunt, called Chacu in Quichua. As many as thirty 
thousand Indians were assembled, who sun-ounded a space of several square 
leagues, and gi'adually drove all the animals into the centre, closing upon 
them until tliey were so close as to be easily caught by hand. Very often 


cloth from the wool of the vicunas, for the use of the Ynca, 
his wives, and children, and to ornament the temples. 
These Indians of Huamachuco are very docile, and have 
almost always been in close alliance with the Spaniards. 
In times past they had their religious superstitions, and 
worshipped certain stones as large as eggs, and others, still 
larger, of different colours, which they kept in their Jiuacas 
in the snowy mountain heights. After they were conquered 
by the Yncas they worshipped the sun, and became more 
civilised, both in their government and in their personal 
habits. In their sacrifices they shed the blood of sheep 
and lambs, flaying them ahve without cutting ofi" their 
heads, and presently cutting out their hearts and entrails 
with great rapidity, to search in them for signs and omens ; 
for some of them were sorcerers, who also watched the 
courses of comets, like other heathens. The devil came to 
the place where they had their oracles, with whom it is 
publicly known that they held converse. Now these things 
have come to an end, their idols are destroyed, and a cross 
has been raised in their stead, to strike terror and dismay 
into our adversary the devil. Some of the Indians, with 
their wives and children, have become Chi'istians, and every 
day, by reason of the preaching of the holy gospel, more 

there were as many as forty thousand head of gumiacos and vicunas alone. 
Most of the female quanacos and vicunas, and a certain number of males, 
were then released ; but they were shorn of their wool before they were 
allowed to go free. The rest were kiEed. The deer were also killed, and 
the meat was distributed amongst the Indians. An accurate account 
was kept of the number released, the nmnber killed, and the number 
shorn, by means of the quipus. The coarse wool of the guanacos was 
then given to the people, while that of the vicunas, as fine as silk, was 
reserved for the Ynca's service. These hunts were held in each district 
eveiy four years, giving three years of rest for the animals to multiply. 
The Indians dried the meat which was served out to them, and this pre- 
served meat, called charqui in Quichua (hence "jerked beef"), lasted 
them until another hunting year came round. G. de la Vega. Comm. 
ReaJ, i, lib. vi, cap. 6. 


are converted, for in these buildings and edifices there are 
clergymen who teach the people. The royal road of the 
Yncas goes from the province of Huamachuco to the Con- 
chucos, and in Bombon it joins another road equally large. 
One of these roads is said to have been made by order of 
Tupac Ynca Yupanqui, and the other by order of his son 
Huayna Ccapac. 


In which it is told how the Yncas ordered that the storehouses sliould be 
well provided, and how these were kept in readiness for the troops. 

The royal road of the Yncas goes from this province of 
Huamachuco to the province of the Conchucos, a distance 
of two short days' journey, and half-way there were build- 
ings and store-houses prepared for the reception of the 
Kings when they travelled this way ; for it was their custom, 
when they visited any part of this kingdom, to travel in 
great state, and to be served with all things appertaining 
to their rank ; and it is said that, except on occasions when 
their service required it, the Yncas did not travel more than 
four leagues each day. In order that there might be suf- 
ficient food to support their retinue, there were buildings 
and store-houses at every four leagues, with great abund- 
ance of all the provisions that the surrounding districts 
could supply. The lieutenants and overseers who resided 
at the chief stations in the provinces took special care that 
the natives kept these tampus well provisioned. And that 
one might not have to contribute more of this tribute than 
another, accounts were kept by a kind of knots, called 
quipu, which were understood, and thus there was no 
fraud. Certainly, although to us it may appear confusing 


and obscure, this is a good way of keeping accounts, as I 
•will more fully show in the second part.^ Between Huama- 
chuco and the Conchucos, although it was two days' journey, 
there were store-houses and tampus in two places on the 
road, which is always kept very clean. If some of the 
mountains were rocky, the road was made in steps, having 
great resting places and paved ways, which are so strong 
that they will endure for many ages. 

In the Conchucos there were buildings and other things, 
as in the provinces we have passed, and the natives are of 
middle height. They and their wives go dressed, and they 
wear distinguishing cords or fringes on their heads. It is 

^ The Peruviany2iipr<5 were of twisted wool, and consisted of a large cord, 
with finer threads fastened to it by knots. These fringes contained the con- 
tents of the qii ipu^ which were denoted either by single knots or by artificial 
inter twinings. Sometimes the main cord was five or six yards long, at others 
not more than a foot. The different colours of the threads had different 
meanings ; and not only was the colour and mode of intertwining of the 
knots to be considered, in reading a quipu, but even the mode of twisting 
the tlu-ead, and the distance of knots from each other, and from the main 
cord. The registers of tribute ; the enrohnent of tribes, distinguishing be- 
tween taxpayers, aged, invalids, women, and children ; lists of ai-ms and 
troops ; inventories of the contents of storehouses ; all these were the prunary 
uses of the quipus. But they were also made available for recording the 
most striking events, and thus supplied the place of chronicles. Acosta 
says that the ancient Peruvians, by their combinations of larger and 
smaller tlu-eads ; double and single knots ; green, blue, white, black, and 
red colours ; could express meanings and ideas as innumerable, as we can 
by the different combinations of our twenty -four letters. 

All attempts, in modern times, to decipher the quipus found in tombs, 
have failed ; yet there are Indians of noble family, especially in the 
southern part of Peru, who know the secret of deciphering these intri- 
cate memorials, but guard it as a sacred trust transmitted from their 
ancestors. The quipu records referring to matters of revenue or regis- 
tration were kept by officers called QuApu-camayoc ; wliile the chronicles 
of events were recorded by the Amautas or learned men, and the poems 
and song's by Haravecs or bards. Garcilasso de la Vega distinctly states 
that the sole specimen of Quichua poesy preserv'ed in his work, was ob- 
tained from an ancient quipu record by the missionary Bias Valera. See 
G. de la Vega^ i, lib. vi, cap. 8. Acosta, lib. vi, cap. 8. Antiffuedades 
Feruanas, cap. b. Markham's Quichua Dictionari/, etc., p. 11. 

u 2 


said that the Indians of this province were warlike, and that 
the Yncas would have had some trouble in subjugating them 
if they had not always managed to conciliate their enemies 
by kind deeds and friendly speeches. Some of these Indians, 
on various occasions, have killed Spaniards, insomuch that 
the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro sent the captain Fran- 
cisco de Chaves^ against them with some Christians, who 
waged a terrible and awful war. Some say that he burnt 

' The name of Francisco de Chaves deserves honourable mention, as 
that of one of the few Spaniards who protested against the foul and 
dastardly murder of the Ynca Atahualpa by Pizarro, at Caxamarca. He 
and liis brother Diego, natives of Truxillo, Francisco IMoscoso, Pedro de 
Ayala, Diego de ISIora, Heruando de Haro, Pedro de Meudoza, Juan de 
Herrada, Alonzo de Avila, and Bias de Atienza were the principal officers 
who raised their voices against that horrible crime. Their names deserve 
to be remembered far more than do those of the famous thirteen who 
crossed the line drawn by Pizarro on the sea-shore of the isle of Gallo. 

On the march from Caxamarca to Cuzco, Pizarro's small force was 
attacked by the Indians led by the Ynca general Quizquiz, and, after a 
long and well contested battle, the Indians retired, taking several Spanish 
prisoners with them, among whom was Francisco de Chaves. He was 
brought before Atahualpa's brother, the Ynca Titu Atauchi, and was 
treated with great kindness because he had protested against the perpe- 
tration of the murder ; while another prisoner named Cuellar, who had 
acted as notary and been present at the Ynca's execution, was himself 
most justly put to death by the Indians. Chaves was cm-ed of his 
wounds, and set free with many gifts. Pizarro and his other comrades 
were astonished when he arrived at Cuzco, having mourned liim as dead, 
since the day that he fell into the hands of the Indians. 

The remaining part of his history is not so creditable, for he seems to 
have committed great atrocities in his Conchucos war. The statements 
of Cieza de Leon are quoted by G. de la Vega (ii, hb. ii, cap. 28), who 
corroborates the account given by the former, of the cruelties perpetrated 
by Chaves : — a shameful return for the kindness and forbearance he had 
himself experienced at the hands of the Indians. He was with Pizarro 
when the assassins came to muj-der him. Pizarro called to Chaves to 
close the door, in order that he and his friends might have time to arm. 
Instead of obeying, Chaves went out to parley with the intruders, and 
met them coming up the stairs. He had scarcely asked them their busi- 
ness before he was stabbed to death, and his body hurled down the steps. 
The assas.sins then completed their bloody work by the murder of the 
conqueror of Peru. 


aud impaled a great number of Indians. At about tbis 
time, or a Httle earHer, the general insurrection of all tbe 
otlier provinces took place, wben more tban seven hundred 
Christian Spaniards were put to cruel deaths by the Indians 
between Cuzco and Quito. God delivered us from the fuiy 
of the Indians, which is truly fearful when they can efiect 
their desires. Howbeit, the Indians said that they fought 
for their liberty, and to escape from the cruel treatment 
they received from the Spaniards, who had become lords of 
their land and of themselves.^ 

In this province of the Conchucos there have always been 
rich mines of gold and silver. Sixteen leagues further on 
is the province of Piscobamba, in which there was a stone 
building for the lords, which was rather broad and very 
long. The people go clothed, as do all the Indians who 
are natives of Piscobamba, and they wear certain small 
pieces of red wool on their heads. Their customs are the 
same as those of their neighbours, and they are now in- 
telligent, docile, and well-disposed towards the Christians. 
The land, where they have their villages, is very fertile and 
prolific, and there are abundant supplies of provisions. 

Further on is the province of Huaraz, which is eight 
leagues from Piscobamba, over very rugged mountains. Here 
it is an admirable thing to see how the royal road is made to 
pass over these mountains, always broad and level, and in 
some parts the live rock is cut away to form steps and resting- 
places. The Indians of this province also are of middling 
height, and they are excellent workmen. They worked the 
silver mines, and in former times paid their tribute to the 
Kings Yncas in silver. Among the ancient buildings there 
is a great fortress in the form of a square, with sides 
measuring one hundred and forty paces, the breadth being 
rather more. On many parts of it faces and human figures 

^ Nor, if he woiilcl speak out, was our young author without sympathy 
for the Indians, and their sufferings. 


are carved witli most skilful workmansliip. Some of the 
Indians say tliat, in token of triumph, the Yncas ordered 
this memorial to be raised in memory of a victory. Others 
relate that, long before the time of the Yncas, there were 
giants as large as the figures that are carved on the stones, 
but time, and the wars which they carried on with those 
who are now lords of these districts, caused them to dis- 
appear without leaving any other memorial than these 

Beyond this province is that of Pincos, near which a river 
flows, and over it there is a bridge to pass from one side to 
the other. The natives of this province are well made, 
and, considering that they are Indians, of noble bearing. 
Further on is the great and splendid palace of Huanuco, , 
the chief station between this point and Caxamarca, as I 
stated in the chapter where I described the founding of the 
city of Leon de Huanuco. 


Of the lake of Bouibou, and how it is supposed to be the source of the 
great river of La Plata. 

This province is strong from its position, and because the 
natives were very warlike. Before the Yncas could conquer 
them they fought great battles with them, until (according 
to what many of the oldest Indians declare) they at length 
induced them to submit by the use of intrigues and pre- 
sents. There is a lake in the country of these Indians 
which is more than ten leagues round. This land of Bom- 
bon is level and very cold, and the mountains are some 
distance from the lake.^ The Indians have their villages 
' Also called the lake of Chinchaycocha. Near its southern shore the 


round the lake, ^vith large dykes. These natives of Bombon 
had great numbers of sheep, and, although most of them 
have been destroyed in the late -wars, yet some still remain, 
and in the desert heights there are quantities of the wild 
kinds. There is little maize in this country on account of 
the cold, but there is no want of other provision by which 
the people are sustained. There are some islands and rocks 
in the lake, where the Indians form garrisons in time of 
war, and are thus safe from their enemies. Concerning 
the water which flows from this lake, it is held for certain 
that it forms the source of the famous river of La Plata, 
because it becomes a powerful river in the valley of Xauxa, 
and further on it is joined by the rivers of Parcos, Vilcas, 
Abancay, Apurimac, and Yucay. Thence it flows to the 
west, traversing many lands, where it receives other rivers 
which are still unknown to us, until it finally reaches 
Paraguay, the country discovered by those Christian Span- 
iards who first came to the river of La Plata. I myself 
believe, from what I have heard of this great river, that it 
owes its origin to two or three branches, or perhaps more ; 
hke the rivers Maraiion, Santa Martha, Darien, and others 
in those parts. However this may be, in this kingdom of 

fcomous cavalry action was fought in 1823 between the Spaniards and 
Patriots, known as the battle of Junin, in Ashich the gallant old general 
IMiller distinguished himself. The lake is thirty-six miles long in a north- 
west and south-east du-ection, with an average breadth of about six miles, 
and 12,940 feet above the level of the sea. The plain or basin in wliich 
it lies, is forty-five miles long and from six to twelve broad, with a 
gravelly soil producing a short grass. A great number of large and 
beautiful water-fowl, including the scarlet flamingo and several varieties 
of snipe, frequent the banks of the lake, wliich are overgrown by reeds. 
As the lake loses by various outlets much more water than it receives 
from its tributary soiu-ces, it is evident that it must be fed by subter- 
raneous springs. The Indians entertain a superstitious behef that this 
lake is haunted by huge fish -hke animals, who at certain hours of the 
night leave their watery abode to prowl about the adjacent pasture 
lands, where they commit great havoc among the cattle. Von Tschudi, 


Peru, we believe that it owes its source to tlie lake of 
Bombon, which receives the water caused by the melting- 
of the snow from the heat of the sun on the desert heights, 
and of this there cannot be little.^ 

Ten leagues beyond Bombon is the pro\ance of Tarma, 
the inhabitants of which were not less warlike than those of 
Bombon. The chmate is here more temperate, and much 
maize and wheat are grown, besides various fruits of the 
country. In former times there were great buildings and 
store-houses of the Kings Yncas in Tarma. The natives 
and their wives go dressed in clothes made from the wool 
of their sheep, and they adore the sun, which they call 
Mocha. When any of them marry, the friends assemble 
together, and, after drinking, saluting their cheeks, and 
performing other ceremonies, the marriage of the bride and 
bridegroom is complete. When the chiefs die they are 
buried in the same way as amongst all the other tribes, and 
their women shave their heads and wear black cloaks, also 
anointing their faces with a black ointment, and this state 
of widowhood lasts for a year. When the year is over, as I 
understood, and not before, they may marry again. These 
people have their annual festivals and fasts, which they 
carefully observe, abstaining from meat and salt and from 

' The lake of Bombon or Chinchay-cocha is drained by the river of 
Xauxa, wliich flows into the JNIantaro, one of the sources of the Ucayali, 
a jjrincijial afllueut of the Amazon. The otlier rivers mentioned above, 
namely the Vilcas, Abancay, Apurimac, and Yucay, are also tributaries 
of the Ucayali. The erroneous sui-mise of Cieza de Leon and liis inform- 
ants, who would carry off all these streams into the Paraguay, is by no 
means surprising when we remember that maps were published in England 
not twenty years ago, which conveyed the waters of the Beni right across 
the line of drainage of the great river Purus, and poured them into the 
UcuyaU ! The mistake of Cieza de Leon possibly arose from his having 
observed that the Xauxa flows south while in the mountains, and that 
all other tributaries of the Amazon flow north. The Xauxa does not 
change its direction until it enters the tropical forests, far beyond the 
ken of the early conquerors. 


sleeping witli women. They also ask him who is considered 
most religious, and on the best terms with their gods and 
devils, to fast for a whole year for the benefit of the others. 
This being done, at the time of maize harvest, they assemble 
and pass some days and nights in eating and drinking. 

It is notorious that some of them conversed with the devil 
in their temples, and the devil replied in a terrible voice. 
From Tarma, travelling by the royal road of the Yncas, the 
traveller reaches the great and beautiful valley of Xauxa, 
which was one of the principal districts in Peru. 


Which treats of the valley of Xauxa, and of its inhabitants, and relates 
how great a place it was in times past, 

A RIVER flows through this valley of Xauxa, which is that 
which I said, in the chapter on Bombon, was the source of 
the river of La Plata. The valley is fourteen leagues long, 
and four to five broad, in some places more, in others less.^ 
It was so populous throughout, that, at the time the Span- 
iards first entered it, they say for certain that it contained 
more than thirty thousand Indians ; now I doubt whether 
it has ten thousand. They were divided into three tribes, 
although all are and were known by the name of Huancas." 

' No more picturesque view can charm the eye of the weary traveller 
than is presented by the mimense garden which forms the valley of Xauxa, 
which is forty square leagues in extent. Its two principal towns are 
Xauxa and Huancayo, in the centre of the valley is the convent of 
Ocopa, and the remaining population is scattered in small villages sui-- 
rounded by trees on either side of the river of Xauxa, which flows tlu-ough 
the vaUey. The mighty Andes bound the river on every side. 

2 The Huancas were conquered by Ccapac Yupanqui, the brother and 
general of the Ynca Pachatutec ; and at that time they are said to have 


They say tliat this arrangement has existed since the time 
of Huayna Ccapac^ or of his father, who divided the lands 
and settled their boundaries. One of these tribes was 
called Xauxa, whence the valley took its name, and the 
chief Cucixaca. The second was called Maricavilca, over 
which Huacarapora was chief. The third was kno-\vn as 
Llacsapallanca, and its chief Alaya. In all these parts there 
are great buildings of the Yncas, but the largest edifices 
were in the principal part of the valley, called Xauxa. 
Here there was a great area covered with strong and well- 
built stone edifices, a house of virgins of the sun, a very 
rich temple, and many store-houses well supplied with pro- 
visions. Here there were many workers in silver, who made 
vases of silver and gold for the service of the Yncas, and for 
ornaments in the temple. There were more than eight' 
thousand Indians set apart for the service of the temple and 
palaces. These edifices were all of stone, above which there 
were enormous beams covered with long straw. These 
Huancas had great battles with the Yncas before they were 
conquered, as I will relate in the second part. The virgins 
of the sun were guarded with great vigilance, and if they 
had any intercourse with men they were severely punished. 
These Indians relate a very pleasant legend. They afl&rm 
that their origin is derived from a certain man (whose name 
I do not recollect) and a woman called Urochombe, who 
came forth out of a fountain called Huarivilca. These two 
were so prolific, that aU the Huancas have proceeded from 
them. In memory of this pair the fathers of the present 
inhabitants made a great and high wall, and near it they 
built a temple, to which the Indians all go to worship. It 

munbered tliirty thousand souls in the valley of Xauxa. Garcilasso 
informs us that, before they were subjugated by the Yncas, they wor- 
shijiped the figm-e of a dog, and feasted on the flesh of dogs. He sur- 
mises that they adored the dog-idol because they were so fond of roast 
dog. G. de la Vega^ i, lib. vi, cap. 10. lluancar (" a drum" in Quichua,) 
is probably a name given to this nation by the Yncas. 


may be gathered from this that, as these Indians were 
ignorant of the true faith, God, for their sins, allowed the 
devil to attain great power over them, and, that he might 
secure the perdition of their souls, which is his desire, he 
made them believe these follies and others, such as that 
they were born from stones and lakes and caves ; all that 
they might erect temples in which to adore him. 

These Huancas know that there is a Creator of all things, 
whom they call Ticeviracocha. They believe in the immor- 
tality of the soul. They flayed the captives they took in 
war, making some of the skins into drums, and stuffing 
others with ashes. The Indians go dressed in shirts and 
mantles. The villages had fortresses of stone, like small 
towers, broad at the base and narrow above. Even now 
they appear, to one seeing them from a distance, Hke the 
towers of Spain. In ancient times all these Indians made 
wars with each other, but, after they were subjugated by 
the Yncas, they became expert workmen and bred large 
flocks. Their head-dress consisted of a woollen wreath 
about four fingers broad. They fought with slings and 
lances. Formerly there was a fountain, over which, as has 
been already said, they built a temple, called Huarivilca.^ 
I saw it, and near it there were three or four trees called 
molles,^ hke walnut-trees. These trees were considered 
sacred, and near them there was a seat made for the chiefs 
who came to sacrifice, whence some paved steps led to the 
precincts of the temple. Porters were stationed to guard 
the entrance, where a stone flight of steps led down to the 
fountain already mentioned. Here there is an ancient wall 
of great size built in the form of a triangle. Near these 

> " The temple of Guarivilca, in tlie valley of Xauxa, was consecrated 
to the god Ticexdracocha, chief divinity of the Huancas, whose singular 
worship reminds one of the mythology of the northern countries of 
Europe. Notwithstanding the most scrupulous investigations, it has been 
impossible to find any vestiges of the ruins of this temple." Antiq. Per. 

^ Schinus Molle Lin. 


buildings there is a plain^ where the devil, whom they 
adored, is said to have been, and to have conversed with 
some of them. 

These Indians relate another legend which they heard 
from their ancestors, namely, that a great mviltitude of 
devils once assembled in these parts, and did much damage 
to the natives, terrifying them with their looks. While 
this was going on five suns appeared in the heavens, which, 
with their brilliant splendour, annoyed the devils, who dis- 
appeared with loud screams and groans. The devil Huari- 
vilca, who was in this place, was never seen again, and all 
the places where he had stood were scorched and burnt. 
As the Yncas were lords of this valley, a grand temple of 
the sun was built for them, as in other parts, but the natives 
did not cease to offer sacrifices to this Huarivilca. The 
temple of the sun, equally with that of Huarivilca, is now in 
ruins, and full of w:eeds and abominations j for when the 
governor Don Francisco Pizarro entered the valley, the 
Indians say that the bishop. Friar Vicente de Valverde,^ 

» Vincente de Valverde, a Dominican friar, accomi^anied Pizarro to 
Peru, and we first hear of him as addressing an intolerably proUx 
theological discourse to the Ynca AtahualjDa, when he came to visit the 
Spanish camp at Caxamarca. The treacherous friar completed his evil 
work by calhng out to Pizarro and his bloodhounds to attack their guest. 
Valverde continued to torment the ill-fated Ynca with his theology 
while in prison, until the poor captive's sufferings were consummated by 
his nuuder on August 29th, 1533. We next find him tormenting the 
unfortunate general Challcuchina, whom Pizarro burnt alive, distm-bing 
his last moments by oflicious importunities. He performed mass at the 
humiliating coronation of Ynca Manco, who received the llautu from the 
hands of Pizarro. Valverde was soon afterwards confinued as bishoiJ of 
Cuzco by the Pope in 1538. He returned to Spain, but came out to Peru 
again in the following year (1539), and wrote a curious letter to Charles V, 
still preserved in the archives of Simancas, in which he describes the ruin 
and devastation caused by the Spaniards in the once flourishing capital 
of the Yncas. Bishop Valverde protested against the execution of 
Ahnagro ; and also endeavoured to save Pizarro's secretary, who was put 
to death at Lima by the asstissins of his master. The assassins allowed 


broke the idols, and tlie devil was never again heard in that 
place. I went to see this temple with Don Cristoval, son 
of the chief Alaya, who is now dead, and he showed me the 
monument. He, as well as the other chiefs of the valley, 
has turned Chi-istian, and there are two clergymen and a 
friar who have charge of the instruction of these. Indians in 
our holy catholic faith. This valley of Xauxa is surrounded 
by snowy mountains, and in many parts of them there are 
ravines where the Huancas raise their crops. The City of 
the Kings was seated in this valley before it was removed 
to the place where it now is, and the Spaniards found a 
great quantity of gold and silver here. 


In which the road is described from Xauxa to the city of Guamanga, 
and what there is worthy of note on this road. 

I FIND that the distance from this valley of Xauxa to the 
city of the victory of Guamanga is thirty leagues. Going 
by the royal road, the traveller journeys on until certain 
veiy ancient edifices, now in ruins, are reached, which are 
on the summit of the heights above the valley. Further 
on is the village of Acos, near a morass full of great rushes. 
Here, also, there were edifices and store-houses of the 
Yncas, as in all the other towns of this kingdom. The 
natives of Acos live away from the royal road, in some very 
rugged mountains to the eastward. I have nothing more 
to say of them, except that they go dressed in woollen 

the bishop to depart in a vessel from Callao, which touched at the island 
of Pima, where he was killed by the IncUans in 1541. 

Valverde was the fii'st bishop of Cuzco, from 1538 to 1541. He was 
succeeded by friar Juan Solano (1545-62), since whose time twenty-six 
bishops have filled that episcopal chair. 


clothes, and tliat their houses are of stone thatched with 
straw. The road goes from Acos to the buildings at Pico, 
then over a hill, the descent from which is rugged and 
would seem difficult, yet the road continues to be so broad 
and smooth, that it almost seems to be passing over level 
ground. Thus it descends to the river which passes by 
Xauxa, where there is a bridge, and the pass is called 
Angoyaco. Near this bridge there is a certain white 
ravine, whence comes a spring of wholesome water. In 
this pass of Angoyaco there was an edifice of the Yncas, 
where there was a bath of water that was naturally warm 
and convenient for bathing, on account of which all the 
Lords Yncas valued it. Even the Indians of these parts 
used to wash and bathe in it every day, both men and 
women. In the part where the river flows the valley is 
small, and there are many molle^ and other trees. Further 
on is the valley of Picoy, but first another small river is 
crossed, where there is also a bridge, for in winter time this 
river washes down with much fury. 

From Picoy the road leads to the buildings of Parcos, 
erected on the top of a hill. The Indians have their abodes 
in very lofty and rugged mountains on either side of these 
buildings. Before reaching Parcos there is a place called 
Pucara (which in our language means a strong thing-) in a 
small wilderness, where, in ancient times, as the Indians 
declare, there was a palace of the Yncas and a temple of the 
sun. Many provinces sent their usual tribute to this Pucara, 
and delivered it to the overseer who had charge of the 
stores, and whose duty it was to collect the tribute. In 
this place there is such a quantity of dressed stones that, 
from a distance, it truly appears like some city or towered 
castle, from which it may be judged that the Indians gave 
it an appropriate name. Among the rocks there is one, 

> Schinus MoUe Lin., the prevailing tree in tliis part of the Andes. 
* Pucara is (Jnicliua for a fortress. 


near a small river, wliich is so large that its size is wonderful 
to behold. I saw it, and slept one night under it, and it 
appeared, to me that it had a height of two hundred cubits, 
and a circuit of more than two hundred paces. If it was 
on any dangerous frontier, it might easily be turned into an 
impregnable fortress. This great rock has another notable 
thing connected with it, which is that there are so many 
caves in it that more than a hundred men and some horses 
might get into them. In this, as in other things, our God 
shows his mighty power. All these roads are full of caves, 
where men and animals can take shelter from the wet and 
snow. The natives of this district have their villages on 
lofty mountains, as I have already said. Their summits 
are covered with snow during most part of the year. The 
Indians sow their crops in sheltered spots, like valleys, 
between the mountains. In many parts of these mountains 
there are great veins of silver. The road descends a moun- 
tain from Parcos, till it reaches a river bearing the same 
name, where there is a bi'idge built over great blocks of 
stone. This mountain of Parcos is the place where the 
battle took place between the Indians and the captain 
Morgovejo de Quinones, and where Gonzalo Pizarro ordered 
the captain Gaspar Rodriguez de Campo-redondo^ to be 
killed, as I shall relate in another part of my work. Be- 
34ond this river of Parcos is the station of Asangaro, now 
the repartimiento of Diego Gavilan,^ whence the royal road 
passes on till it reaches the city of San Juan de la Victoria 
de Guamanga. 

' Gaspar Rodriguez de Campo Redondo -was brother of a distingiiislied 
officer who was killed in the battle of Chupas. Gaspar Rockiguez joined 
Gonzalo Pizarro in his rebellion agamst the viceroy Blasco Xuflez de 
Vela, bnt afterwards, seeing reason to think that he had chosen the 
losing side, he sent to the viceroy to ask for a safe conduct. This 
treachery became knoA^Ti to Pizarro and his ruthless lieutenant Carbajal, 
who came to the traitor's tent. The wTetched man offered many excuses, 
but Carbajal never showed mercy, and his head was cut off on the spot. 

'■^ Diego Gavilan, with his brother Juan, joined Francisco Hernandez 



T\''hich treats of the reason why the city of Guamanga was founded, its 
provinces having been at first partly under the jimsdiction of Cu2Co, 
and partly under that of the City of the Kings. 

After the war at Cuzco between tlie Indians and the 
Spaniards^ the King Manco Ynca^ seeing that he could 
not recover the city of Cuzco^ determined to retire into the 
provinces of Viticos, which are in the most retired part of 
these regions^beyond the great Cordillera of the Andes; after 
having first led the captain Rodrigo Orgoilez a long chase, 
who hberated Ruy Diaz, a captain whom the Ynca had had 
in his power for some days. When it was known that 
Manco Ynca entertained this intention, many of the Orejones 
of Cuzco (the nobility of that city) wished to follow him. 
Having reached Yiticos with a great quantity of treasure, 
collected from various parts, together with his women and 
retinue, the King Manco Ynca established himself in the 
strongest place he could find, whence he sallied forth many 
times, and in many directions, to disturb those parts which 
were quiet, and to do what harm he could to the Spaniards, 
whom he considered as cruel enemies. They had, indeed, 
seized his inheritance, forcing him to leave his native land, 
and to live in banishment. These and other things were 
published by Manco Ynca and his followers, in the places to 
which they came for the purpose of robbing and doing 
mischief. As in these provinces no Spanish city had been 

Giron in his rebellion at Cuzco in 1553 ; and the rebel chief appointed 
Diego to the post of captain of infantry. The mvmicipality of Cuzco 
was obliged to elect Giron captain-general of Peru, more, says Garci- 
lasso, from fear of one hundred and fifty arquebusiers under the com- 
mand of Diego Gavilan, who were drawn up in front of the comi -house, 
than from good will. After the overthrow and flight of Gu-on at Pucara, 
Diego and Juan Gavilan went over to the royal army and received 
pardon for their share in the rebellion. 


builtj the natives were given in encomieuda, some to citizens 
of CuzcOj and others to those of the City of the Kings. 
Thus the Indians of Manco Ynca were able to do much 
harm to the Spaniards and to the friendly Indians,, killing 
and robbing many of them. 

These things rose to such a height that the Marquis Don 
Francisco Pizarro sent captains against Manco Ynca. The 
factor Yllan Suarez de Carbajal/ by order of the Marquis, 
set out from Cuzco and sent the captain Yilla-diego to 
reconnoitre with a force of Spaniards, for there was news 
that the Ynca was not far distant from the place where he 
was encamped. Notwithstanding that they were without 
horses (which is the most important arm against these 
Indians), they pressed on because they were confident in 
their strength, and desired to enjoy the spoils of the Ynca, 
thinking that he had his women and treasure with him. 
They reached the summit of a mountain, fatigued and 
exhausted, when the Ynca, with little more than eighty 
Indians, attacked the Christians, who numbered twenty- 
eight or thirty, and killed the captain Villa- diego, and all 
his men, except two or three, who escaped with the aid of 
the friendly Indians. These fugitives presented themselves 
to the factor, who deeply felt the misfortune. When the 
Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro heard it, he hastily set out 
from the city of Cuzco with a body of men, who had orders 
to pursue Manco Ynca. But this attempt also failed, for 
the Ynca retreated to his settlement at Viticos, with the 

• Yllan Suarez de Carbajal was the factor of the royal revenue. After 
the death of Pizarro he fled from the camp of the younger Ahnagro, and 
fought bravely under Vaca de Castro in the battle of Chupas. Carbajal 
was at Lima when Blasco Nuiiez de Vela arrived, and one night the hot- 
headed viceroy sent for him, accused him of treason, and, during the 
altercation which followed, stabbed hini with a poniard. The attendants 
dispatched him with their swords, and the body was secretly buried 
before morning. This foul murder was the immediate cause of the vice- 
roy's downfall. 


heads of the Christians.' Afterwards the captain Gonzalo 
Pizarro undertook the pursuit of the Ynca, and occupied 
some of his passes and bridges. At last^ as the evils done 
by the Indians had been great, the governor Don Francisco 
Pizarro, with the assent of the royal officers who were with 
him, determined to form a settlement between Cuzco and 
Lima (which is the City of the Kings), so as to make the 
road secure for travellers. This city was called " San Juan 
de la Frontera,^^ until the licentiate Christoval Vaca de 
Castro, Pizarro's successor in the government of the 
country, called it " De la Victoria,'^ after the victory which 
he gained over the men of Chile, on the heights of Chupas.- 

' Mauco Ynca, the second legitiinate son of Hnayna Ccapac, was 
invested with the royal llautu at Cuzco by the conqueror Pizarro ; but he 
chafed under the yoke of the invaders, and, on the first opportunity, 
raised the standard of revolt. Then followed the famous siege of Cuzco, 
and when the place was relieved by Ahnagro, and Iklanco's last chance of 
regaining the ancient capital of his ancestors failed, he retreated into the 
forest fastnesses, continued his hostilities against the Spaniards, and led 
the romantic life described above by Cieza de Leon. On one occasion 
Gonzalo Pizarro sent a negro slave to him with presents, to open a 
negotiation, who was murdered by a party of Indians ; upon which Gon- 
zalo perpetrated an act of such devilish cruelty upon a yomig wife of 
Manco, whom he had made jOTsoner, as to be barely credible. The story- 
is related by Prescott, on the authority of Pedro PizaiTo's MS. (ii, p. 13G). 
Manco's end was very melancholy. He was playing at a game with 
balls, with one Gomez Perez and some other Spaniards of Almagro's 
faction, who had taken refuge in the Ynca's fastness, when the ill- 
conditioned ruffian was guilty of some act of disrespect. The Ynca 
pushed him on one side, upon which Gomez Perez hit him such a blow on 
the head with a ball that he fell dead. {Oomara, cap. clvi.) Tliis was 
in the year 1544. The gallant young Ynca left two sons, Sap-i Tupac 
and Tupac Amaru. The former was pensioned by the Spaniards and 
died at Yucay ; the latter perished on the scaffold at Cuzco. 

- After the assassination of Pizarro, the younger Almagro assembled 
his partizans and prepared to resist the royal forces under the new 
governor Vaca de Castro. The two armies met on the heights of Chupas, 
which overhang the city of Guanianga, on tlie IGth of September 
1542. During my residence at Guamanga I went in search of the battle 
field, which is alxjut three leagues from the town. The field of Chujjas 


All tlic villages and provinces from the Andes to the South 
Sea wore under the jurisdiction either of the city of Cuzco 
or of that of the Kings^ and the Indians were granted in 
enconiienda to the citizens of one or other of these cities. 
When, therefore, the governor Don Francisco Pizarro de- 
termined to build this new city, he ordered that some 
citizens from each of the two cities should come to Hve in 
it, so that they might not lose their claim to the oicomienda 
of the Indians in that part. The province of Xauxa then 
became the limit of Lima, and Andahuaylas that of Cuzco. 
The new city was founded in the following manner. 


Of the founding of the city of Guamanga, and who was its founder. 

When the marquis Don Francisco Pizarro determined to 
found a city in this province, he did not select the site where 
it now stands, but chose an Indian village called Guamanga, 
which is the reason why the city received the same name.^ 

is on a sort of terrace of the Andes, with the mountains rising in the rear, 
a rapid descent towards Guamanga, and slightly wooded ravines to the 
right and left. The view from it is magnificent. It is now covered with 
fields of wheat, with a few huts scattered here and there amidst thickets 
of chilca (a species of Baccharis). A most furious and bloody encounter 
was the battle of Chupas. It was long doubtful, but at length Vaca de 
Castro was victorious, and out of 850 Spaniards brought into the field 
by young AlmagTo, 700 were killed. The victors lost about 350 men. 
Among the slain, on the royal side, was Pedro Alvarez Holguin, one of 
the first corregidors of Guamanga, and formerly a companion of Hernan 
Cortez — the same who captured Guatimozin in the lakes of INIexico. He 
was buried in the little chiu-ch of San Clu-istoval at Guamanga, which 
was built by PizaiTo and still exists. Several of the prisoners, who were 
impUcatcd in the murder of Pizarro, were beheaded in the plaza of Gua- 

' The country round Guamanga was inhabited, in ancient times, by 



The village was near the great Cordillera of the Andes. The 
marquis left the captain Francisco de Cardenas as his lieu- 
tenant here. After some time, and from various causes, the 
city was removed to the place where it now stands, which is 
on a plain, near a chain of hills on its south side. Although 
a small plain half a league from the present city, would have 
been a site more pleasant to the inhabitants, yet they were 
obhged to give it up owing to the want of water. Near the 
city a small stream of very good water flows, at which the 
citizens drink. In this city the best and largest houses in all 
Peru have been built, all of stone, bricks, and tiles, with tall 
towers, so that there is no want of buildings. The plaza is 
level and very large. -^ The climate is very healthy, for 

the nation of Pocras. They joined the Chaucas under Anco-huallu in 
their war against the Yuca (see note at p. 280), and after the bloody- 
defeat of the allied tribes on the plain of Yahuarpampa, and the emigi-a- 
tion of Anco-huallu, they again rose in rebellion. They were finally 
crushed in a bloody battle at the foot of the heights of Condor-canqui, 
by the Ynca Huira-ccocha, in a place which has ever since been 
called Aya-cucho (" the corner of dead men"). Foiu- hundred and fifty 
years afterwards, on the same spot, the battle was fought between the 
Spaniards and the Patriots, which finally established the independence of 
Peru. (December 9th, 1824.) 

After the overtlu-ow of the Pocras, the Ynca was serving out rations 
of llama flesh to his soldiers when a falcon (huaman) came wheeling in 
circles over his head. He threw up a piece of meat crying Huaman-ca 
(Take ! falcon), and the bird caught it and flew away. " Lo," cried the 
soldiers, "even the birds of the air obey liim :" and the place was ever 
afterwards called Huaman-ca^ corrujited by the Spaniards into Gua- 
manqa. Since the independence, the name of the city has been altered 
to Ayacucho^ in honour of the battle. 

Others derive the name from Huaman (falcon) and Ccaca (a rock) — 
" the Falcon's Rock." 

* The city of Guamanga, now called Ayacucho, is in lat. 12° 59' S., 
and long. 73° 59' W. From the steep mountains which overhang it on 
the south-west, the city presents to the view a mass of red tiles, with 
church towers rising here and there, surrounded by gardens of fruit trees, 
which extend in different directions up the sides of the mountains, while 
to the north-west is the broad gi'assy plain called Pampa del Arco, and 
the view is bounded in that direction by the frowning heights of Condor- 


neither the sun nor the air do harm, nor is it damp nor hot, 
but it possesses an excellent and most salubrious tempera- 
ture. The citizens have also built houses where they keep 
their flocks, in the valleys adjoining the city. The largest 
river near the city is called Viilaque, near which there are 
some great and very ancient edifices, which are now in ruins, 
but appear to have stood for many ages.^ When the Indians 
are asked who built these ancient monuments, they reply 
that a bearded and white people like ourselves were the 
builders, who came to these parts many ages before the 
Yncas began to reign, and formed a settlement here. These, 
and some other ancient edifices in this kingdom do not 
appear to me to be like those which were erected by order 
of the Yncas ; for their buildings were square, and those of 
the Yncas are long and narrow. It is also reported that 
certain letters were found on a tile in these buildings. I 
neither deny nor affirm that, in times past, some other race, 
possessed of judgment and intelligence, made these things, 
and others which we have not seen. 

On the banks of this river of Viuaque, and in other adja- 

canqui, at the feet of which the famous battle of Ayacucho was fought. 
The streets run at right angles, sloping gradually from north to south, 
and in the centre is the plaza mayor. On the south side of the jij^aza are 
the handsome stone cathedral and the cabildo or court-house. The other 
three sides are occupied by private houses on handsome arcades, with 
stone pillars and circular arches. The south part of the town was for- 
merly broken up by a deep ravine, but in 1801 the Spanish intendente, 
Don Demetrio O'Higgins, spanned it with a number of well built stone 
biidges. On the west side there is an alameda or avenue of double rows 
of wallow trees, by the side of which a stream of clear water flows down 
and supplies the city. On either hand the hLUs rise up abruptly, covered 
^ with fruit trees, and hedges of prickly pears. There are more than twenty 
chiu-ches, built of limestone, with well proportioned towers. The climate, 
as Cieza de Leon says, is delicious, and Ayacucho is one of the pleasantest 
places in Peru. 

• In alluding to these ruins, Tschudi and Rivero, in their " Antigue- 
dades Fenianas,'' merely refer to the above passage in Cieza de Leon, 
but do not appear to have identified or examined them. 


cent parts^ they reap a great quantity of wheat, of which 
they make bread as excellent as the best that is made in 
Andalusia.^ They have planted some vines, and it is be- 
lieved that in time there will be many extensive vineyards, 
and most other things that grow in Spain. There is abun- 
dance of all the fruits of the country, and so many doves 
that there is no other part of the Indies where they are so 
numerous. In the spring there is some difficulty in getting 
enough fodder for the horses, but, owing to attendance from 
the Indians, this want is not felt. It must be understood that 
at no time do the horses and other beasts feed on straw, nor 
is any use made of what is cut, for neither do the sheep eat 
it, but all are maintained by the grass of the field. 

The outlets to this city are good, but in many parts there 
are so many thorns and briars that it is necessary for tra- 
vellers to be careful, whether they go on foot or on horse- 
back. This city of San Juan de la Victoria de Guamanga 
was founded and settled by the marquis Don Francisco 
Pizarro, governor of Peru, in the name of his Majesty, on 
the 9th day of the month of January, 1539. 


In which some things are related concerning the natives of the districts 
near this city. 

Many Indians have been given in encomienda to the citizens 
of Guamanga, and notwithstanding that they are numerous, 
yet the wars have caused the destruction of great numbers. 
Most of them were Mitimaes, who, as I have already said, 
were Indians transported from one province to another, the 

' The country round (luanianga still yields abundant supplies of wheat, 
and is capable of supporting ten times the present population. 


work of the Kings Yncas. Some of these were Orejones, 
although not of the principal families of Cuzco. To the east- 
ward of this city is the great mountain chain of the Andes. 
To the west is the coast of the South Sea. I have named 
villages which are near the royal road. The others have 
very fertile land round them, and large flocks. All the 
Indians go about clothed. They had temples and places of 
worship in secluded corners, whore they performed their 
sacrifices and vain ceremonies. In their burials they prac- 
tised the same customs as all the other Indians, interring 
live women and treasures with their dead. After they were 
brought under the yoke of the Yncas, they adored the sun, 
and adopted the laws and customs of their conquerors. 
Originally they were a brave race, and so warlike that the 
Yncas were hard put to it, when they invaded their country ; 
insomuch that, in the days of the Ynca Yupanqui, after the 
Soras and Lucanas (provinces inhabited by a robust people) 
had been subdued, these Indians fortified themselves, in 
great numbers, in strong positions. For, to preserve their 
liberty, and escape servitude under a tyrant, they thought 
little of hunger and long protracted wars. Ynca Yupanqui, 
covetous of the rule over these people, and jealous of his 
own reputation, besieged them closely for more than two 
years ; at the end of which time, after they had done all 
they could, they smTendered to the Ynca. 

When Gonzalo Pizarro rose in arms, the principal citizens 
of Guamanga, from fear of his captains, and from a desire to 
serve his Majesty, after having raised a standard in his royal 
name, marched to this same stronghold to fortify themselves 
(as I myself heard from some of them), and saw the vestiges 
of the former war spoken of by the Indians. All these 
Indians wear certain marks by which they are known, and 
which were used by their ancestors. Some of them were 
much given to omens, and were great sorcerers, pretending 
to predict what would happen in the future, on which occa- 


sions they talked nonsense, as all must do who try to foretel 
what no creature can know ; for God alone can tell what is 
about to happen. 


Of the great buildings in the province of Vilcas, which are beyond the 
city of Guamanga. 

The distance from the city of Guamanga to that of Cuzco is 
sixty leagues, a little more or less. On this road is the 
plain of Chupas, where the cruel battle was fought between 
the governor Vaca de Castro and Don Diego de Almagro 
the Younger. Further on, still following the royal road, 
are the edifices of Vilcas, eleven leagues from Guamanga, 
which, say the natives, was the centre of the dominions of 
the Yncas ; for they assert that from Quito to Vilcas is the 
same distance as from Vilcas to Chile, these being the 
extreme points of the empire. Some Spaniards, who have 
travelled from one end to the other, say the same. Ynca 
Yupanqui ordered these edifices to be built, and his suc- 
cessors added to them. The temple of the sun was large 
and richly ornamented. On one part of the plain, towards 
the point where the sun rises, there was a chapel for the 
lords, made of stone, and surrounded by a low wall, which 
formed a terrace about six feet broad, with other steps upon 
it, on the highest of which there was a seat where the lord 
stationed himself when he said his prayers. This seat was 
made of a single enormous stone, eleven feet long, and 
seven broad. They say that this stone was once set with 
gold and precious stones, for it was thus that they adorned 
a place held by them in great veneration. On another 
stone, which is not small, in the centre of the open space. 


they killed animals and young children as sacrifices, whose 
blood they offered to their gods. The Spaniards have found 
some treasure on these terraces. 

By the side of the chapel were the palaces of Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui, and other great buildings, besides many store- 
houses where they put the arms and fine cloths, with all 
other things paid as tribute by the Indians of provinces 
within the jurisdiction of Vilcas, which was, I have heard it 
said in other places, as it were the head of the kingdom. 
Near a small hill there were, and still are, more than seven 
hundred houses, where they stored up the maize and other 
provisions for the soldiers who marched that way. In the 
middle of the great square there was another form or seat, 
where the lord sat to witness the dances and festivals. The 
temple of the sun, which was built of stones fitted one on 
the other with great skill, had two doorways, approached 
by two flights of stone stairs, having, as I counted them, 
thirty steps apiece. Within this temple there were lodgings 
for the priests and virgins. The Orejones and other Indians 
affirm that the figure of the sun was very rich, and that 
there was great treasure in smaller pieces. These build- 
ings were served by more than forty thousand Indians, 
divided into relays, and each chief understood the orders of 
the governor, who received his power from the Ynca. To 
guard the doorways alone there were forty porters. A 
gentle channel of water, conducted with much skill, flowed 
through the great square, and the lords also had their 
secret baths both for themselves and for their women. 
"What may now be seen of all this are the outlines of the 
buildings, the walls of the chapels, the temple with its steps 
all in ruins, and other ruined buildings. In fine, it once 
was what it now is not, and by what it now is we may 
judge what it once was. Some of the first Spanish con- 
querors saw this edifice entire and in its perfection, as I 
have myself been told by them.^ 

' I have been unable to find any other detailed account of the ruins of 


From Vilcas the road passes to Uramarca, whicli is seven 
leagues nearer Cuzco, and here the great river called Vilcas 
is crossed^ the name being given because it is near these 
buildings. On each side of the river there are very large 
stone pillars made very strong and with very deep founda- 
tions. From these pillars a bridge of ropes^ like those used 
for drawing water with a wheel, is slung across the river. 
These ropes are so strong that horses may pass over with 
loosened rein, as if they were crossing the bridge of Alcan- 
tara, or that of Cordova. The bridge was one hundred and 
sixty-six paces long when I passed over it.^ The river 
rises in the province of the Soras, which is very fertile, and 

Vilcas, near Guamanga, where there was evidently a very important 
station in the time of the Yncas. There is a bare allusion to the above 
passage of Cieza de Leon in the Antiguedades Peruanas, without a word 
of further information. I made an endeavour to find the ruins, when I was 
in this part of the country, but without success. They are mentioned, 
and nothing more, by Paz Soldan {Qeografia del Peni^ p. 366) ; and, 
indeed, no author tells us so much concerning the once si^lendid palaces 
and temples of Vilcas as does Cieza de Leon. 

1 This river is now known as the Pamj^as. It flows tlu'ough the very 
deep valley of Pumacancha, which is covered with dense miderwood, and 
tall stately aloes. The mountains rise up abruptly, in some places quite 
perpendicularly, on either side. In a place where the river is about 
twenty paces across, a bridge of sogas, or roj^es made of the twisted fibres 
of the aloe, is stretched from one side to the other. It consists of six 
sogas^ each of about a foot in diameter, set up on either side by a wind- 
lass. Across these sogas other smaller ropes are secured, and covered wiih. 
matting. This rope bridge is considerably lower in the centre than at 
the two ends, and vibrated to and fro as we passed over it. It has to be 
renewed several times every year. In Spanish times the Indians of cer- 
tain villages were excused other service, to repair the bridge. It has 
been a point of considerable strategical importance, in the frequent in- 
testine wars which Peru has suffered from, as commanding the main road 
from Cuzco to Lima and the coast. On the side towards Cuzco the 
valley of Pumacancha is bounded by the mountains of Bombon, up which 
the road passes through woods of molle, chilca^ and other trees, while 
rugged peaks rise up on either .side. One of those glorious views which 
are seldom equalled out of the Andes, may be enjoyed from the cnesta of 


inhabited by a warlike race. They and the people of 
Ijucaiias^ speak one language, and go about dressed in 
woollen cloths. They possessed large flocks, and in their 
provinces there are rich mines of gold and silver. The 
Yncas esteemed the Soras and Lucanas so highly, that 
their provinces were favoured, and the sons of their chiefs 
resided at the court of Cuzco. There are store-houses in 
these provinces, and great numbers of wild flocks in the 
desert mountains. Returning to the royal road, the traveller 
reaches the buildings of Uramarca, which is a village of 
Mitimcu's, for most of the natives were killed in the wars of 
the Yncas. 


Of the proviuce of Andahuaylas, and of what is to be seen as far as the 
valley of Xaquixaguana. 

When I entered this province of Andahuaylas," the chief 
of it was an Indian named Guasco, and the natives were 
called Ckancas. They go about dressed in woollen shirts 
and mantles. In former times they were so valiant, that they 
not only conquered other lands and lordships, but extended 
their dominions so widely that they came near to the city of 
Cuzco. There were fierce encounters between those of the 
city and these Chancas, until, by the valour of the Ynca 
Yupanqui, the Chancas were conquered. The captain An- 
coallo,^ so famous in these parts for his great bravery, was 
a native of this province. They relate that he could not 

> Lucanas is one of the pro\-inces of the modern department of Aya- 

- From the Qiiichua words a7ita (copper) and huaylla (pasture), " the 
copper coloured meadow." 

^ See ante^ note at p. 280. 


endure to be under the yoke of the Yncas^ and under 
the orders of his captains ; so, after having performed 
great deeds in the districts of Tarama and Bombon, he 
penetrated into the depths of the forests, and his followers 
peopled the banks of a lake which is, according to Indian 
statements, down the course of the river of Moyobamba. 
When I asked these CJiancas concerning their origin, they 
told me such another legend as did those of Xauxa. They 
said that their fathers were born in, and came out of, a small 
lake called Soclo-cocha, and conquered the country as far 
as a place called Chuquibamba, where they established 
themselves. After some time they strove with the Quichuas,^ 
a very ancient nation, who were lords of this province of 
Andahuaylas, and conquered their country, which they have 
been lords of ever since. They held the lake out of which 
they came to be sacred, and it was their chief place of 
worship, where they prayed and made sacrifices. They 
buried their dead in the same way as the other Indians, and 
beheved in the immortality of the soul, which they called 
Sonccon, a word which also means '' heart. ^•'~ They buried 
women alive with the bodies of their lords, and also treasure 
and apparel. They had their days set apart for solemnising 
festivals, and places where they held their dances. As 

' The original followers and subjects of Manco Ccapac, the first Ynca 
of Peru, appear to have been called Quichuas, and hence the name of the 
language. The derivation of the word is doubtful. In Peru the hot 
tropical valleys are called Yunca, the lofty cold heights Puna, and the 
intermediate temperate region Quichua. Mossi suggests the following 
derivation of the word. Quehuani is "to twist" in Quichua, the parti- 
ciple of which is Quehnasca^ " twisted ;" and Ychu is " straw." Hence 
Quehuasca-ychu^ " t-ndsted straw," corrupted into Quichua; from the 
quantity of straw growing in this temperate region. Thus the Quichuas 
were the inhabitants of the temperate zone, between the Punas and the 
VuJicas; and they were the original followers of the first Ynca of Peru. 
Gramatica i'e la Lengua General del Peru, con Diccionario, yor el R. P. 
Fray Ilonorio Mossi (Misionero) Sucre, 1857. 

- Sonccon is the Quicluia word for " heart." 


there are priests in this province kibouring among the 
Indians, some of them have become Christians, especially 
among- the young men. 

The captain Diego Maldonado has always held these 
Indians in encomienda} They all wear their hair long, and 
plaited into many very small plaits, with some woollen cords 
which are allowed to fall below the chin. Their houses are 
of stone." In the centre of the province there were large 
edifices and store-houses for the chiefs. Formerly the In- 
dians in this province of Andahuaylas were very numerous, 
but the wars have reduced them, as they have done the 
other Indians of this kingdom. The province is very long, 
and contains many large flocks of domesticated sheep. The 
part which is forest is not included within the limits of the 
province. This province is well supplied with provisions ; 
it yields wheat, and there are many fruit trees in the warm 

' Diego JNIaldonado was one of the first conquistadores. He was im- 
prisoned in the fortress of Cuzco by Ahaagro, after the marshal returned 
from Chile, with Marcio Serra de Legesamo, and many others. He was 
afterwards in the battle of Chupas, fighting on the royal side. He be- 
came a regidor of Cuzco, where he had several houses, received Anda- 
huaylas in encomienda^ and was surnamed " the rich." When Gonzalo 
Pizarro rebelled, JNIaldonado was with the insm-gent forces, and, hearing 
that accusations had been brought against him, he fled from his tent on 
foot, and hid himself in a field of sugar cane. An Indian foimd him, 
and, with the usual kind-heartedness of his race, guided him to the beach, 
made a balsa out of a bundle of straw, and paddled him to one of La 
Gasca's ships, which was lying off and on in CaUao bay. He was then 
sixty-eight years of age ; but he stiU continued to play an important part 
in public affairs, and was wounded in the rebellion of Giron in 1554. 
He lived for twelve years afterwards, though he eventually died, in 15CG, 
of wounds received in the battle against that rebel. 

2 The Indians of Andehuaylas, descendants from these Chancas, are a tall 
and generally handsome race, and many of the women are beautiful. The 
population of the valley is about six thousand. 

^ The valley of Andahuaylas is one of the most beautiful in the Andes. 
It contains the three small towns of Talavera, Andahuaylas, and San Gero- 
nimo. Through its centre flows a little river, lined on either side by lofty 


We were liere for maii}^ days with tlie president Gasca, 
when he marched to punish the reboUion of Gonzalo Pizarro,^ 
and great were the sufferings of these Indians from the 
exactions of the Spaniards. The good Indian chief of this 
valley, Guasco, was very diligent in collecting suppHes. 
From this province of Andahuaylas (which the Spaniards 
usually call Andaguaylas) the road leads to the river of 
Abancay, which is nine leagues nearer Cuzco, and this 
river, like many others, has its strong stone pillars, to which 
a bridge is attached.- Where the river flows, the moun- 
tains form a small valley where there are trees, and they 
raise fruit and other provisions in abundance. It was on 
the banks of this river that Don Diego de Almagro defeated 
and captured the captain Alonzo de Alvarado, general for 
the governor Don Francisco Pizarro, as I shall relate in the 
book containing the history of the war of Las Salinas.^ 
Not very far from this river there were edifices and store- 
houses like those in all the other districts, but they were 
small and not of much importance. 

willows, while here and there large fruit gardens slope down to its banks. 
Every part of the valley is carefully cidtivated, and large fields of wheat 
cover the lower slopes of the surrounding mountains. 

» From the beginning of January to the end of March 1548. Gasca 
was here joined by Valdivia, the conqueror of Chile, and when he com- 
menced his march against Gonzalo Pizarro, he was at the head of nearly 
two thousand weU armed men. 

2 This is the river Pachachaca. It is now spanned by a handsome 
stone bridge of one arch, at a gi-eat height above the stream. Tliis bridge 
is some sLxty years old. The Pachachaca is a tributary of the Ucayali. 

^ See my translation of the life of Don Alonzo Enriquez de Guzman, 
chap, xlviii, and note at p. 114. Hakluyt Society's volume for 1862. 



Of the river of Apuriinac, of the valley of Xaquixaguana, of tiic 
causeway which passes over it, and of what else there is to relate 
until the city of Cuzco is reached. 

Further on is tlio river of Apurimac, which is the largest of 
those which are crossed between this place and Caxamarca. 
It is eight leagues from that of Abancay, and the road is 
much broken up by mountains and declivities, so that 
those who made it must have had much labour in breaking 
up the rocks, and levelling the ground, especially where it 
descends towards the river. Here the road is so rugged 
and dangerous, that some horses, laden with gold and 
silver, have fallen in and been lost without any possibihty 
of saving them. There are two enormous stone pillars, to 
which the bridge is secured. When I returned to the City 
of the Kings, after we had defeated Gonzalo Pizarro, some 
of our soldiers crossed the river without a bridge, which 
had been destroyed, each man in a sack fastened to a rope 
passing from the pillar on one side of the river to that on 
the other, more than fifty of us.^ It is no small terror that 
is caused by seeing what men pass through in these Indies. 
After crossing this river the place is presently seen where 
the buildings of the Yncas were, and where they had an 
oracle. The devil, according to the Indians, rephed from 

^ A few miles beyond the little village of Ciu-ahuasi, is the precipitous 
descent to the bridge over the Apiu-imac (Apu, " cliief," and riinac, 
" speaking," or "a speaker," in Quichua). A steep zigzag path leads 
do^^^l to the side of the cliff, and at last the precipice becomes so perpen- 
dicular that a tunnel has been excavated in the soUd rock, about twenty 
yards long, at the end of which is the bridge. It is made in the same way 
as that over the river Pampas. The river dashes furiously along between 
vertical precipices of stupendous height, and a high wind is not uncom- 
mon, which blows the frail rope bridge to and fro, rendering the passage 
very dangerous, and at times im];: 


out of the trunk of a tree^ near wliicli they buried gold^ and 
offered up sacrifices. 

From this river of Apurimac the road leads to the build- 
ings of Limatambo/ and crossing the mountains of Yilca- 
conga (which is the place where the Adelantado Don Diego 
de AlmagrOj with some Spaniards^ fought a battle with the 
Indians before he entered Cuzco) the valley of Xaquixa- 
guana is reached, which is a plain situated between the 
chains of mountains. It is not very broad, nor long. At 
the beginning of it, is the place where Gonzalo Pizarro was 
defeated, and close by he and his captains were tried by 
order of the licentiate Don Pedro de la Gasca, president for 
his Majesty. In this valley there were very rich and sump- 
tuous edifices, where the nobles of Cuzco retired to enjoy 
their ease and pleasure. Here, also, was the place where 
the governor Don Francisco Pizarro ordered Challcuchima, 
the captain-general of Atahualpa, to be burnt. The distance 
from this vaUey to the city of Cuzco is five leagues along 
the grand royal road. The water of a river which rises 
near this valley forms a large and deep morass, and it 
would be very difficult to cross it, if the Yncas had not 
caused a broad and strong causeway to be made, with walls 
on either side so strong as to last for a long time. In 

' The empire of the Yncas, as it existed in the time of Manco Ccapac, 
the founder of his dyna.sty, only extended from the Apurimac on the west, 
to the Paucar-tambo on the east, a distance of about fifty miles. In the 
centre was Cuzco, while on each frontier there was a fortress and a 
palace — Ollantay-tampu on the north, Paccari-tampu on the south, 
Paucar-tampu on the east, and Rimac-tampu (corrupted by the Span- 
iards into Limatambo) on the west, near the river of Apurimac. The 
ruins of the palace of Lima-tambo are situated in a delightful spot, com- 
manding a fine view. Only two walls, and the face of the stone terrace 
on which the palace was built, now remain. These walls are twenty 
and forty paces long respectively, forming an angle, and about fourteen 
feet high. The stones are beautifully fitted into each other, without 
cement of any kind, and to this day look angular and fresh. At intervals 
there are recesses in the walls, aliout one foot deep and eight feet high. 
The interior of tlie palace is now an extensive fruit garden. 


former times this valley was very populous, and was covered 
with crops, in fields which were so numerous that it was a 
sight worth seeing. These fields were divided from each 
other by broad walls, with the crops of maize and roots 
sown between them, and thus they rose up the sides of the 
mountains.^ Many of these crops are of wheat, which grows 
well.- There are also large flocks belonging to the Span- 
iards who are citizens of the ancient city of Cuzco, which is 
built between certain hills in the manner and fashion that I 
shall declare in the following chapter. 

' These axe the andeneria or terraced fields and gardens. They may 
still be seen on the liills bordering the plain of Xaquixagiiana or Siirite. 

- The original name of tliis plain appears to have been Yahuar-pampa 
(field of blood), so called in memory of the bloody battle between the 
army of Ynca Huira-ccocha and the allied tribes led by Anco-hualluc. 
In the days of the Spanish conquest it was known by the name of 
Xaquixagiiana (Cieza de Leon and Zarate) or Sacsahuana (G. de la 
Vega) ; here the Ynca general Challcuchima was cruelly burnt to death 
by Pizarro, and here the President Gasca defeated and executed Gonzalo 
Pizarro and Carbajal. It is now generally called the plain of Siirite, 
from a village of that name at its north-western corner. 

The plain of Surite is a few leagues west of Cuzco, on the road to Lima, 
at a sufficient elevation to be within the region of occasional frosts, and 
is sm-rounded by mountains, up wluch the ancient andeneria or terraced 
fields, now left to ruin, may be seen rising tier above tier. The plain is 
swampy and covered with rank grass, and woidd be difficult to cross, if it 
were not for the causeway, bmlt by order of the Yncas, and accurately 
described by Cieza de Leon, which is still in good preservation. This 
causeway is of stone, raised about six feet above the plain, and perfectly 
straight for a distance of two leagues. At the end of the causeway is the 
little village of Yscu-chaca. 



Of the manner in which the city of Cuzco is built, of the four royal 
roads wliich lead from it, of the grand edifices it contained, and 
who was its founder. 

The city of Cuzco is built iu a very rugged situation, and is 
surrounded by mountains on all sides. It stands on the 
banks of two streams, one of wliicli flows through it, and 
there are buildings on both sides. To the eastward there is 
a valley, which commences at the city itself, so that the 
waters of the streams which pass by the city flow to the 
east.^ This valley is very cold, and there are no trees which 
yield fruit, except a few moUes. On the north side of the 
city, on the highest and nearest mountain, there is a fortress 
which, for its strength and grandeur, was and still is an 
excellent edifice, although now most of it is in ruins. The 
massive foundations, however, with the principal blocks of 
stone, are still standing." 

' The ancient city of Cuzco is in lat. 13° 31' S., and long. 73° 3' W., 
at the head of a valley 11,380 feet above the level of the sea. The 
valley is nine miles long, and from two to tlu-ee broad, bounded on either 
side by ranges of bare mountains of considerable elevation. It is covered 
with fields of barley and lucerne, and, besides many farms and country 
houses, contains the two small towns of San Sebastian and San Geroninio. 
On the north side the famous hill of Sacsahuaman rises abrujrtly over 
the city, and is divided from the mountains on either side by two deep 
ravines, through which flow the little rivere of Huatanay and Rodadero. 
The former stream rushes noisily past the moss-grown walls of the old 
convent of Santa Teresa, under the houses forming the west side of the 
great square of Cuzco, down the centre of a broad street, where it is 
crossed by nimierous stone bridges, and eventually unites with the 
Rodadero. The Huatanay is now but a noisy httle mountain torrent 
confined between banks faced with masonry ; but in former times it must 
liave been m the habit of frequently breaking its bounds, as the name 
implies, which is composed of two words, Huata (a year), and Ananay^ 
an ejaculation of weariness, indicating fatigue from the yearly necessity 
of renewing its banks. The principal part of the ancient city was built 
between the two rivere. 

= '•'■ The grandeur of the fortress of Cuzco," says Garcilasso do la Vega, 


To the north and east of Cuzco arc the provinces of Anti- 
suyu, which contain the dense forests of the Andes, and also 

" is incredible to those who have not seen it, and those who have ex- 
amined it carefully might well imagine, and even beUeve, that it was 
made by some enchantment, and by demons rather than men. The 
multitude and bigness of the stones in the three lines of fortification 
(which are more like rocks than stones) cause admu-ation, and it is 
wonderful how the Indians could have cut them out of the quarries 
whence they were brought, for they have neither iron nor steel. How 
tliey conveyed them to the building is a still greater difficulty, for they 
had no bullocks, nor did they know how to make carts which coidd bear 
the weight of the stones ; so they dragged them with stout ropes l;)y the 
force of their arms. Tlie roads by which they had to come were not 
level, but led over very rugged mountains, up and dovm which the 
stones were dragged by sheer force. ]\Iany of the stones were brought 
from distances of ten, twelve, and fifteen leagues, particularly the stone, 
or, to speak more correctly, the rock which the Indians call sayciisca (as 
much as to say 'tired'), for it never reached the building. It was 
brought from a distance of fifteen leagues, across the river of Yucay, 
which is little smaller than the Guadalquivir at Cordova. The nearest 
quan-y w^as at INIuyna, five leagues from Cuzco. But it is still more 
wonderful to think how they fitted such great stones so closely that the 
point of a knife will scarcely go between them. INIany are so w^ell ad- 
justed that the joining can scarcely be seen, and to attain such nicety it 
must have been necessary to raise them to their places and lower theni 
veiy many times ; for the Indians had no square, nor had they any rule 
by which they could know that one stone fitted justly on another. They 
had no knowledge of cranes nor of pulleys, nor of any machine wliich 
woiUd assist them in raising and lowering the stones." . . . Acosta (lib. vi, 
cap. 14, p. 421, ed. 1608) makes similar remarks on the size of the stones 
and on the difficulty of raising them. Garcilasso continues : " They built 
the forti-ess on a high liill to the north of the city, called Sacsahuaman. 
This hill rises above the city ahnost perpendicidarly, so that on that side 
the fortress is safe from an enemy, whether formed in squadron or in 
any other way. Owing to its natm-al advantages this side was only for- 
tified with a stout wall, more than two himdred fathoms long. But on 
the other side there is a wide plain approaching the hill by a gentle 
incline, so that an enemy might march up in squadrons. Here they made 
tlu-ee walls, one in front of the other, each wall being more than two 
hundred fathoms long. They are in the form of a half moon, and unite 
with the wall facing the city. The fii*st wall contains the largest stones. 
I hold that they were not taken from any quarry, because they bear no 
marks of lianng been worked, but that they were huge boidders (tormos) 

Y 2 


those of Chinclia-suyUj extending towards Quito. To the 
south are the provinces of the Collao and of Cunti-suyu, of 

or loose rocks which were found on the hills, adapted for building. 
Nearly in the centre of each line of wall there was a doorway, each with 
a stone of the same height and breadth, which closed it. The first of 
these doorways was called Ttiu-'piLncu (Sand gate) ; the second, Acahuana- 
puncu, so called after the chief architect ; and the third, Huira-ccocha- 
puncu. There is a space of twenty-five or tliirty feet between the walls, 
which is made level, so that the summit of one wall is on a line with the 
foot of the next. Each wall had its parapet or breastwork, behind wliich 
the defenders could fight with more security. Above these lines of 
defence there is a long narrow platform, on which were three strong 
towers. The principal one was in the centre, and was called Moyoc- 
marca or ' the round tower.' In it there was a fountain of excellent 
water, brought from a distance underground, the Indians know not 
whence. The kings lodged in this tower when they went up to the fortress 
for amusement, and all the walls were adorned with gold and silver, and 
animals, birds, and plants imitated from nature, which served as tapestry. 
The second tower was called Paucar-marca^ and the tliird, Sacllac-marca. 
They were both square, and they contained lodgings for many soldiers. 
The foundations were as deep as the towers were high, and the vaults 
passed from one to the other. These vaults were cunningly made, with 
so many lanes and streets that they crossed each other with theu' turns 
and doublings." Garcilasso complains that the Spaniards, instead of 
preserving this wonderful monument, have taken away many stones, 
from the vaults and towers, with which to build their new houses in 
Cuzco ; but they left the three great walls, because the stones were so 
enormous that they could not move them. He adds that the fortress 
took fifty years in building. 

The ruins of the fortress of Cuzco are the most interesting in Peru, 
and I made a very minute examination of them in 1853. On the side of 
the hill immediately above the city there are three stone terraces. The 
first wall, 14 feet high, extends in a semicircular form round this 
end of the hill, for 180 paces. Between the first and second walls there 
is a level space 8 paces broad. Above the third wall there are many care- 
fully hewn stones lying about, some of them supporting three lofty wooden 
crosses. Here, probably, were the three towers mentioned by Garcilasso, 
now totally destroyed. The view from this point is extensive and beau- 
tiful. The city of Cuzco is spread out like a map below, with its hand- 
some church towers and domes rising above the other buildings. The 
great square is seen, crowded with Indian girls sitting under shades before 
their merchandise, or passing to and fro like a busy hive of bees. Beyond 
is the long ]ilain, and far in the distance, rising above the lower ranges 


wliicli the Collao is between the cast and south winds, and 
Cunti-suyu between the south and west. 

One part of this city was called Hanan-Cuzco, and another 
Hurin-CuzcOj where the most noble and ancient families 
lived. Another division was the hill of Carmcnca/ where 
there were certain small towers for observing the move- 
ments of the sun/ which the people venerated. In the 

of moimtains, towers Asungato, with its snowy peak stauding out in 
strong relief against the cloudless sky. 

The length of the platform or table land on the summit of the Sacsa- 
huaman hill is 525 paces, and its breadth, in the broadest part, 130 
paces. INIany deep excations have been made in all parts of it, in search 
of liidden treasure. On the south side the position was so strong that it 
needed no artificial defence, being bounded by the almost inaccessible 
ravine of the Huatanay. On the north, from the terraces already de- 
scribed for 174 paces in a westerly direction, the position is naturally 
defended by the steep ravine through wliich flows the river Rodadero, and 
only required a single stone breastwork, which stiU exists. But from 
this point to the western extremity of the table land, a distance of 
400 paces, it is entirely undefended by uatui^e. Here the Yncas con- 
structed that gigantic treble hue of Cyclopean fortification, which 
must fiU the mind of every traveller with astonishment and admiration. 
The first wall averages a height of 18 feet, the second of 16, and the 
tliird of 14 : the terrace between the first and second being 10 paces 
across, and that between the second and tliird 8 paces. The walls 
are built with salient and retiring angles. The position is entered by 
tlu-ee doorways, so narrow that they only admit of the passage of one 
man at a time. The outer angles are generally composed of one enormous 
block of stone. I measured some of these. One was 17 feet high, 
12 broad, and 7^ long ; another, 16 feet high by 6 broad. They 
are made to fit so exactly one into the other as to form a piece of 
masom-y unparalleled in solidity and the peculiarity of its construc- 
tion, in any other part of the world. These walls are composed of a 
limestone of a dark slate colour, and are now overgrown with cacti and 
wild flowers. 

» Ivnown, in the days of the Yncas, as Huaca-puncu ('* the holy 

2 The Yncas ascertained the time of the solstices by means of eight 
towers on the east, and eight towers on the west of the city, put four 
and four, two small between two large ones. The smaller towers were 
eighteen or twenty feet apart, and the larger ones were the same distance, 
one on each side. The solstice was ascertained by watching \\hen the 


central and most populous part of the city there was a large 
open space^ which they say was once a lake or swamp, but 
that the founders filled it up with earth and stones, and 
made it as it now is. From this square four royal roads 
led. That which they called Chincha-suyu went towards the 
coast, and also to Quito and Paste. The second road, called 
Cunti-suyu, led to the provinces which are subject to this 
city, and to that of Are quip a. The third royal road, called 
Anti-suyu, goes to the provinces at the skirts of the Andes, 
and to some villages beyond the mountains. The last road, 
called Colla-suyu, leads to the provinces which extend as 
far as Chile. ^ Thus, as in Spain, the ancients made a divi- 
sion of the whole country according to provinces; and thus the 
Indians knew those districts, which extended over so vast a 
country, by the names of the roads. The stream which 
flows through the city has its bridges for passing from one 
side to the other. In no part of this kingdom was there 
found a nobly adorned city, except at this Cuzco, which was 
(as I have already said many times) the capital of the empire 
of the Yncas, and their royal seat. In all the other parts of 
the kingdom the people live in houses scattered about, and 
if there are some villages, they are without plan or order, 
or anything worthy of praise. But Cuzco was grand and 
stately, and raust have been founded by a people of great 
intelligence. It had fine streets, except that they were 
narrow, and the houses were built of solid stones, beautifully 
joined. These stones were very large and well cut. The 
other parts of the houses were of wood and straw, but there 
are no remains of tiles, bricks, or lime amongst them. In 
this city there wei-e many grand buildings of the Yncas in 

sun set or rose between the smaller towers. G. de la Vega, i, lib. ii, 
cap. 22. 

1 Tlie four grand divisions of the empire of the Yncas gave their names 
to these four royal roads. The whole empire was called Ttahua-ntin- 
Sujju. literally "The four regions." 


vai'ious parts^ in which he who succeeded to the lordship 
celebrated his festivals.^ Here, too, was the solemn and 

• The most detailed accouut of ancient Cuzco is to be found in the 
pages of the Ynca historian. He says that the first houses were built on 
the steep slopes of the Sacsahuaman hill. The city was divided into two 
parts, Hanan-Cuzco (upper or north) and Iliu-in-Cuzco (lower or soutli). 
The chief ward or di\asion was on the slopes of Sacsahuaman, and wa.s 
called Collcam-pata. Here ISIanco Ccapac built his palace, the ruins of 
which are still in good preservation ; and the great hall, where festivals 
were celebrated on rainy days, was entire in the days of Garcilasso. 
The next ward, to the east, was called Cantut-pata (" the terrace of 
flowers") ; then came Puma-curcu (" lion's beam"), so called from a 
beam to wliich wild animals were secured ; then Toco-cachi (" window 
of salt") ; then, further south, Munay-sencca (" loving nose") ; then 
Rimac-'pampa (" speaking place"), where ordinances were promulgated, 
close to the temple of the sun, at the south end of the city ; then Pumap- 
chupan {'■'■ hon's tail"), where the two streams of Huatanay and Rodadero 
luiite, and form a long promontory, like a tail. To the westward there 
was a division called Chaquill-chaca ; and next to it, on the north, were 
others called Pichu and Qnillipata. Finally, the division known as 
Huaca-puncu (" holy gate") adjoined the Collcampata on the west side. 

The inner space, between the abovenamed divisions or suburbs, and 
extending from the Collcampata on the north to Rimac-pampa on the 
south, was occupied by the palaces and houses of the Ynca and his family, 
divided accoi'ding to their Ayllus or lineages. This central part of the 
city was divided into four parts, called Hatun-cancha^ containing the 
palace of Ynca Yupanqui ; Puca-marca^ where stood the palace of Tupac 
Ynca Yupanqui ; Ynti-pampa^ the open space in front of the temple of 
the sun ; and Ccori-cancha^ wdiich was occupied by the temple of the sun 
itself. Immediately south of the Collcam-pata was the Sacha-hziasi or 
college, founded by Ynca Rocca, where the Amautas or wise men resided. 
Near the college was the palace of Ynca Rocca, called Coracora^ and 
another palace called Cassana* the abode of the Ynca Pachacutec. The 
latter was so called because it would cause any one who saw it to freeze 
(cassa) with astonisluuent, at its grandeur and magnificence. These 
palaces looked upon the great square of the ancient city, called Hxuicay- 
pata (" the festive terrace"), which was two hundred paces long and one 
hundred and fifty broad from east to west. At the west end it was 
bounded by the Huatanay stream. At the south side there was another 
royal palace, called Amaru-cancha ("place of a serpent"), the residence 
of Huayna Ccapac, and south of the Anani-canclia was the Aclla-Imasi, 

The site is now occupied by the convent of San Francisco. 


magniiicent temple of the sun^, called Ccuri-cancha^ whicli 
was ricli in gold and silver.^ Most parts of tlie city were 
inhabited by Mitimaes, and laws and statutes were esta- 

or convent of virgins. "West of the Huacay-fata was the Cusi-pata 
(" joyful terrace"), which was united with it, the Huatanay being paved 
over with large flagstones. 

All the streets of modern Cuzco contain specunens of ancient masonry. 
Many of the stones have serpents sculptured in rehef , and four slabs are 
to be seen, with figures — half bird, half man — carved upon them, with 
some pretence to artistic skill. The wall of the palace of Ynca Rocca is 
still very perfect. It is formed of huge masses of rock of various shapes, 
one of them actually having twelve sides, yet fitting into each other with 
marvellous accuracy. They are of a sombre hue, and have an imposing 
effect. With the exception, however, of this building, of the palace on 
the Collcampata, and of the fortress, which are in the Cyclopean style, 
all the ancient masonry of Cuzco is in regular parallel courses. The 
roofs were of thatch, but very neatly and carefully laid on, as may be 
seen in the specimen still existing at the Sondor-huasi of Azangaro 
(See note to p. 166), and the city must altogether have presented a scene 
of architectural grandeur and magnificence which was well calculated to 
astonish the gi-eedy and illiterate conquerors. 

> Ccuri-cancha means literally "the place of gold." Its site is now 
occupied by the convent of San Domingo, but several portions of the 
ancient temple of the sun are still .standing, especially at the west end, 
where a mass of the dark, beautifully-formed masonry, about eighteen 
feet high, overhangs the Huatanay river. At the east end of the convent 
the ancient wall of the temple is ahnost entire, being seventy paces long 
and about thirty feet high. The stones are of irregular length, generally 
about two feet by one a-half, and very accurately cut. They are in 
regular parallel com-ses, with their exterior surfaces projecting slightly 
and sloping off at the sides to form a junction with their neighbours. 
The roof was formed of beams pitched very liigh, and thatched with 
straw. In the interior the four walls were lined with plates of gold, and 
at one end there was a huge golden svm, with features represented, and 
rays of flame darting from its circumference, all of one piece. It 
extended from one wall to the other, occupying the whole side. This 
magnificent prize fell to the share of a Sjianish knight named Marcio 
Serra de Lejesama, who gambled it away in one night ; but he never 
took a card into his hand again. The reformed knight married an Ynca 
princess, and left the memorable will which I have quoted in a note at 
page 124. 

On each side of the golden sun were the mummies of the deceased 
Yncas, seated in chairs of gold. The principal door faced towards the 
north, and opened on the open space known as the Ynti-fairifa ; and a 


blisliccl for their conduct, which were understood by all, as 
well regarding their superstitions and temples, as in matters 
relating to government. This city was the richest of which 
we have any knowledge, in all the Indies, for great store of 
treasure was often brought in to increase the grandeur of 
the nobles ; and no gold nor silver might be taken out, on 
pain of death. The sons of the chiefs in all the provinces 
came to reside at court^ with their retinues, for a certain 
time. There were a great many gilders and workers in 
silver, who understood how to work the things ordered by 
the Yncas. The chief priest, called Huillac-Umu^ lived in 
the grand temple. 

At present there are very good houses^ with upper stories 
roofed with tiles. The climate, although it is cold, is veiy 
healthy, and Cuzco is better supplied with provisions than 
any other place in the kingdom. It is also the largest city, 
and more Spaniards hold encomiendas over Indians here than 
elsewhere. The city was founded by Manco Ccapac, the first 
King Ynca ; and, after he had been succeeded by ten other 
lords,^ the Adelantado Don Francisco Pizarro, governor and 
captain-general of these kingdoms, rebuilt and refounded it 
in the name of the Emperor, Don Carlos, our lord, in the 
month of October of the year 1531'. 

cornice of gold, a yard broad, ran round the exterior walls of the temple. 
On the south side were the cloisters, also ornamented with a broad 
cornice of gold, and within the enclosure were buildings dedicated to the 
moon, and adorned with silver, to the stars, to lightning, and to the 
rainbow ; as well as the dwellings of the Huillac Umu, or high priest, 
and of his attendants. Within the courts of these cloisters there were 
five fountains, with pipes of silver or gold. lai the rear of the cloisters 
was the garden of the sun, where all the flowers, fruits, and leaves, were 
of pure beaten gold. I have myself seen some of these golden fruits and 

> Namely SincM Rocca (1062), Lloque Yupanqui (1091), INIayta 
Ccapac (1126), Ccapac Yuimnqui (1156), Ynca Rocca (1197), Yahuar- 
huaccac (1249), Huira-ccocha (1289), Pachacutec (1340), Ynca Yu- 
panqui (1400), and Tupac Ynca Yupanqui (1439). The last named was 
succeeded by Huayna Ccapac (1475), in whose reign the Spaniards lii-st 
appeared on the coast of Peru. 



Ill which the things of this city of Cuzco are described more in detail. 

As tliis city was the most important and principal place in 
the kingdom, the Indians of the neighbourhood were assem- 
bled at certain seasons of the year to clean the sti-eets, and 
perform other duties. Near the city, on one side and the 
other, there were the same storehouses as are to be found 
in all parts of the kingdom, some larger, and some stronger 
than others. As these Yncas were so rich and powerful, 
some of their edifices were gilded, and others were adorned 
with plates of gold. Their ancestors held, as a sacred place, 
a great hill near the city called Huanacaure, and they say 
that human blood and many lambs and sheep were sacrificed 
on it. The city was full of strangers from all parts, Indians 
of Chile and Pasto, Caiiaris, Chachapoyas, Huancas, Collas, 
and men of all the tribes in the provinces, each living apart 
in the quarter assigned by the governors of the city. They 
all retained the costumes of their fathers, and went about 
after the manner of their native land ; and, even when one 
hundred thousand men were assembled together, the country 
of each Indian was easily known by the peculiar head-dress 
which distinguished him.^ Some of these strangers buried 
their dead in high mountains, others in their houses, and 
others in tombs with live women, precious things, and plenty 
of food. The Yncas, as I was given to understand, inter- 
fered in none of these things, so long as their vassals adored 
and venerated the sun, and this adoration they called mocha.^ 
In many parts of the city there are great edifices under the 
ground, and even now some tiles and pieces of gold are found 
buried in the bowels of the earth. Assuredly there must be 

' G. do la Vega quotes this passage (i, lib. vii, cap. 19). 
^ In Quichua, Muchani is to adore or to kiss ; and Mucha// wouid I le 


great treasure buried within tlio circuit of the city, but those 
who are living know not where to find it. As there was so large 
a concourse of people here, and as the devil, by the permis- 
sion of God, had such complete mastery over them, there 
were many soothsayers, sorcerers, and idolaters. Even now 
the city is not yet entirely free of them, especially as re- 
gards witchcraft. Near the city there are many warm valleys 
where there are fruit and other trees which grow well, and 
most of the fruit is brought to the city for sale. They also 
reap much wheat, of which they make bread ; and they have 
planted many orange trees and other fruit trees both of 
Spain and of the country. They have mills over the stream 
which flows through the city, and at a distance of four 
leagues may be seen the quarry from which the stones were 
conveyed of which the city is built, a sight well worth 
seeing. They rear fowls in Cuzco, and capons as fat and 
good as those of Granada, and in the valleys there are herds 
of cattle, and flocks, both, of Spanish sheep and of those of 
the country. Although there are no trees round the city, 
the pulses of Spain ripen very well. 


Wliich treats of the valley of Yucay and of the strong fortress at Tanibo, 
and of part of the province of Cunti-suyii. 

About four leagues from this city of Cuzco, a little more or 
less, there is a valley called Yucay, which is very beautiful, 
confined between ranges of mountains in such sort that the 
shelter thus afforded makes the climate very pleasant and 
healthy.^ It is neither too hot nor too cold, and is cou- 

' The valley of Yucay or Vilca-mayii is the paradise of Peru. It was 
the favourite residence of the Yncas, and is one of the most delightful 
spots in this favoiu'ed land. The rapid river which flows through it 


sidered so excellent tliat the citizens of Cuzco have several 
times proposed to remove the city into the valley. But as the 
houses in the city are so grand^ they could not undertake to 
build them anew. They have planted many trees in this 
valley of Yucay^ and there is good hope that in time there 
will be large vineyards and beautiful and I'efreshing orchards 
as well in this valley, as in that of Vilcas, and in others ; 
indeed, they have already been commenced. I say more of 
this valley than of the others, because the Yncas thought 
much of it, and went to it for their festivities and solace, espe- 
cially Huira-ccocha Ynca, who was the grandfather of Tupac 
Ynca Yupanqui. In all parts of the valley are to be seen 
fragments of many buildings which have once been very 
large, especially those at Tambo, three leagues down the 
valley, between two great mountains, forming a ravine 
through which a stream flows. Although the climate of the 
valley is as pleasant as I have described, these mountains 
are quite white with snow during the greater part of the 
year. In this place the Yncas had the strongest fort in all 
their dominions, built on rocks, where a small force might 
hold their own against a large one. Among these rocks 

rises in the mountains of Yilcaiiota, and, leaving the city of Cuzco at a 
distance of about ten miles to the west, eventually joins the Apurimac 
after a course of about four hundred miles, and becomes one of the main 
affluents of the Ucayali. 

The valley is seldom more than three miles in breadth, and is bounded 
on its eastern side by the snow-capped range of the Andes. To the 
westward there is a lower range of steep and rocky mountains. Within 
these narrow limits the vale of Yucay enjoys a delicious climate, and the 
picturesque farms, with their maize towers surrounded by little thickets 
of fruit trees, the villages scattered here and there along the banks of the 
rapid river, the groves of trees, and the lofty mountains rising abruptly 
from the valley, combine to form a landscape of exceeding beauty. The 
little village of Yucay is on the site of the delicious country retreat of the 
Yncas, a palace on which all the arts of Peruvian civilisation were 
lavished to render it a fitting abode for the sovereign and his court. 'I'he 
only remaining vestiges of the palace are two walls of Ynca mcisoiiry, 
forming sides of a modern liouse in the idazn of the village. 


there were certain masses of stone which made the place 
impregnable, and, lower down, the sides of the mountains 
are lined with terraces one above the other, on which they 
raised the crops which sustained them. Among the stones 
there may still be seen the figures of lions and other wild 
animals, and of men with arms like halberds, as if they 
were guarding the way. They are all well and skilfully 
executed. There were many edifices, and they say that, 
before the Spaniards conquered this kingdom, they con- 
tained great treasure. In these buildings there are stones, 
well cut and fitted, which are so large that it must have re- 
quired many men and great ingenuity to raise them, and 
place them where they now are.^ It is said for certain that, 

^ Next to the fortress of Ciizco, the riiius at Tambo or Ollantay-tambo, 
in the valley of Yucay, are the most astonisliing in Peru. They are 
buUt at a point where the valley is only about a leagaie in width, covered 
with maize fields, with the broad and rapid river flowing through the 
centre. The dark moimtains rise up ahnost perpendicularly on either 
side to such a stupendous height that but a narrow portion of blue sky 
smiles down upon the peacefiU scene between them. A ravine, called 
jMarca-ccocha, descends from the bleak punas of the Andes to the valley 
of Yucay at this point, and at the junction two lofty masses of rock rise 
up abruptly in dark and frowning majesty. The fortress of Tambo is 
built on the rock wliich forms the western portal to the ravine. The 
rock is a dark limestone, the lower part of which, to the south and 
east, is faced with masonry composed of small stones. At a height of 
about 300 feet there is a platform covered with a ruin apparently left 
in an unfinished state. Here there are six enormous slabs of granite, 
standing upright, and united by smaller pieces fitted between them. 
Each slab is 12 feet high, and at their bases there are other blocks of 
the same material, in one place formed into a commencement of a wall. 
This spot appeal's to have been intended as the principal part of the citadel. 
In the rear, and built up the steep sides of the mountains, there are 
several edifices of small stones plastered over with a yellow mud. They 
have gables at either end, and apertures for doors and windows. StiQ 
further to the east, a flank wall of the same material rises up from the 
valley to near the summit of the mountain, which is very steep and rocky, 
and indeed difficult of ascent. Immediately below the principal plat- 
form there are a succession of stone terraces. The upper one is entered 
at the side by a handsome doorway with an enormous granite lintel. 


in these edifices of Tambo, or in others at some other place 
with the same name (for this is not the only place called 

The wall is biiilt of polygonal-sliaped blocks, fitting exactly into each 
other, and contains eight recesses, two feet two inches high by one broad 
and one deep. ^^Hien the inner sides of these recesses are tapped -with. 
the fingers, a peculiar metalHc ringing sound is produced. In front of 
the terraces there a series of well-constructed ajideneria, or hanging 
gardens, sixteen deep, all faced with masonry, which descend into the 
ravine. On the opposite side of these andeneria the moimtain rises 
perpendicularly, and terminates in a dizzy peak, where there is a huge 
block of stone called the Tnti-huatana^ or place for observing the sun. 

The most astonishing circimistance connected with these ruins is the 
distance from which the stones which compose them have been conveyed. 
The huge blocks of granite of enormous dimensions rest upon a hmestone 
rock, and the nearest granite quarry is at a distance of six mUes, and on 
the other side of the river. On the road to this quarry there are two 
stones wliich never reached their destination. They are known as the 
Saycusca-rnmicuna or '^ tired stones." One of them is 9 ft. 8 in. long 
and 7 ft. 8 in. broad ; with a groove round it, tliree inches deep, appa- 
rently for passing a rope. The other is 20 ft. 4 in. long, 15 ft. 2 in. 
broad, and 3 ft. 6 in. deep. 

At the foot of the rock on wliich the fortress is built there are several 
ancient buildings. Here is the Manay raccay ov "court of petitions," 
sixty paces square, and surrounded by buildings of gravel and plaster, 
which open on the court by doorways twelve feet high, sm-mounted by 
enormous granite lintels, On the western side of the ravine of Marca- 
ccocha, opposite the fortress, there is another mass of rock towering up 
perpendicularly, and ending in a sharp peak. It is called the Pincidluna 
(•'Place of Flutes"). HaK-v/ay up, on a rocky ledge very diflicult of 
approach, there are some buildings which tradition says were used as a 
convent of virgins of the smi. They consist of tlu-ee long chambers 
separated from each other but close together, and rising one beliiud the 
other up the dechvitous side of the mountain. They are each twenty- 
eight paces long, with a door at each end, and six windows on each side. 
There are steep gables at each end about eighteen feet liigh, and the 
doors have stone hntels. There may have been six cells, according to 
the number of windows, making eighteen in all. On one side of these 
buildings there are tlu-ee terraces on wliich the doors open, which 
probably supplied the inmates with vegetable food and flowers, and 
whence they might view one of natiu'e's loveliest scenes, the tranquil 
fertile valley, with its noble river, and mountains fringed with tiers 
of cultivated terraces. 

About a liundred yards beyond tlie edge of these convent gardens the 


Tambo), in a certain part of a royal palace or of a temple 
of the sun, gold is used instead of mortar, which, jointly 
with the cement that they make, served to unite the 
stones together. The governor Don Francisco Pizarro got 
much of this gold, before the Indians could take it away. 
Some Spaniards also say that Hernando Pizarro and Don 
Diego de Almagro the Younger got much gold from Paccari- 
tambo. I do not myself hesitate to believe these things, 
when I remember the rich pieces of gold that were taken 
to Seville from Caxamarca, where they collected the trea- 
sure which Atahualpa promised to the Spaniards, most of it 
from Cuzco. There was little to divide afterwards, found 
by the Christians, for the Indians carried it off, and it is 
buried in parts unknown to any one. If the fine cloths 
which were destroyed and lost in those times, had been pre- 
served, they would have been worth a great deal. 

The Indians called Chumbivilicas, Vuinas, and Pomatam- 
bos, and many other nations which I do not mention, lived 
in the country called Cvmti-suyu.^ Some of them were war- 
like, and their villages are in very lofty mountains. They 
have vast quantities of flocks, both domesticated and wild. 
All their houses are of stone, thatched with straw. In many 

PincuUuna becomes quite perpendicular, and forms a yawning precipice 
eight liundred feet high, descending slieer down into the valley. This 
was used as the Hnarcuna or place of execution, and there is a small 
building, hke a martello tower, at its verge, whence the victims were 
hiu-led into eternity. 

For an accoimt of the tradition connected with the building of OUan- 
tay-tambo, and of the Quichua drama wliich is foimded on it, see my 
work, Ciizco and Lima, pp. 172 to 188. 

The authors of the Antiguedades Peruanas beUeve these ruins to be 
anterior to those of Cuzco. 

• Cunti-suyu was the western division of the empire of the Yncas. 
The word was afterwards corrupted by the Spaniards into Condesuyos ; 
and the district of that name is now a province of the department of 
Arequipa. It is nearly on the watershed of the maritime Cordillera, and 
is drained by a river which, after irrigating the valley of Ocoiia, falls 
into the Pacific. 


places there are buildings for their chiefs. The rites and 
customs of these Indians were the same as those of other 
parts, and they sacrificed lambs and other things in their 
temples. It is notorious that the devil was seen in a temple 
which they had in a certain part of the district of Cunti- 
snju, and I have heard of certain Spaniards, in the present 
times, who saw apparitions of this our enemy. In the rivers 
they have collected much gold, and they were getting it out 
when I was at Cuzco. In Pomatambo and other parts of 
this kingdom they have very good tapestry, the wool being 
very fine from which they make it, and the colours with 
which they dye it are so perfect that they excell those of 
other countries. There are many rivers in this province of 
Cunti-suyu, some of which are crossed by bridges of ropes, 
made in the way I have already described. There are also 
many fruit and other trees, deer and partridges, and good 
falcons to fly at them. 


Of the forest of the Andes, of their great tliickness, of the huge snakes 
which are bred in them, and of the evil customs of the Indians who 
live in the interior of these forests. 

This cordillera of the Andes must be one of the grandest 
in the world, for it commences at the straits of MagaUanes, 
extends along the whole extent of this kingdom of Peru, 
and traverses so many provinces that they cannot be enu- 
merated. It is covered with high peaks, some of them well 
covered with snow, and others with mouths of fire. The 
forests on these mountains are very difficult to penetrate by 
reason of their thickness, and because during the greater 
part of the year it rains. The shade is so dark that it is 
necessary to go with much caution, for the roots of the 


trees spread out and cover all the ground, and when it is 
desired to pass with horses, much labour is necessary in 
making roads. It is said among the Orejones of Cuzco, 
that Tupac Ynca Yupanqui traversed these forests with a 
large army, and many of the tribes who inhabited them 
were very difficult to conquer and bring under his sway. In 
the skirts of the mountains towards the South Sea, the natives 
were intelligent ; they were all clothed, and were ruled by 
the laws and customs of the Yncas. But, towards the other 
sea, in the direction of the sun-rise, it is well kno^vn that 
the inhabitants are of less understanding and reason.^ 

' To the eastward of the Andes are the great forests which extend 
unbroken to the Atlantic. Those in the uumediate neighbom-hood of 
Cuzco are watered by the tributaries of the Pxirus, one of the largest and 
most important, though still imexplored affluents of the Amazon. These 
forests comi^rised the ^-1 nti-suyu or eastern division of the empire of the 
Yncas, and were inhabited by wandering savage tribes called Antis and 
Cliimchos. The forest region was first invaded by the Ynca Rocca, but 
no permanent conquest was made until the reign of the Ynca Yupanqui, 
who received tiding-s of a rich province inhabited by a people called 
jSIusus (]Moxos) far to the eastward. All the streams were said to unite 
and form a great river called the Amaru-mayu (" sei-pent river"), wliich 
is probably the main stream of the Purus. The Ynca made a road from 
the Andes to the shores of the river, through the forest -covered country 
now known as the montuha de Paucartambo^ and was occupied for two 
years in making canoes sufficient to carry ten thousand men, and their 
provisions. He then descended the river, and, after a long and bloody 
war, subjugated the savage tribes of Chunchos on its banks, and collected 
them into a settlement called Tono. They ever afterwards paid an annual 
tribute of parrots, honey, and wax to the Yncas. Yupanqui then pene- 
trated still further to the south and east, and conquered the province of 

In the early days of the conquest, the Spaniards established fax-ms for 
raising coca, cacao, and sugar in the beautiful forests of Paucartambo, 
especially along the banks of the Tono, and Garcilasso de la A'ega tells 
lis that he inlierited an estate called Abisca, in this part of the country. 
But as Spanish power declined, these estates began \o fall into decay, 
the siivage Chunchos encroached more and more, and now there is not a 
single farm remaining in this once wealthy and flourishing district. The 
primitive forest has again resumed its sway, and the country is in the 
same state as it was before it was invaded by the Ynca Yupanqui. 


They raise a great quantity of coca, which is a very 
precious plant among the Indians, as I will relate in the 
next chapter. As the forests are very large, the truth 
may be received that they contain many animals, as well 
bears, tigers, lions, tapirs, pigs, and striped wild cats, as 
other wild beasts worthy of note. Some Spaniards have 
also seen serpents of such bigness that they looked like 
beams, but, although one should sit on them, they would 
do no harm, nor do they try to kill any person. In talking 
over this matter of the serpents with the Indians of Cuzco, 
they told me something which I wiU relate here, as they 
assured me of its truth. In the time of the Ynca Yupanqui, 
who was grandson of the Ynca Huira-ccocha, certain cap- 
tains were sent with a large army to visit these forests, by 
the Ynca's order, and to bring the Indians they met with 
under subjection to him. Having entered the forests, these 
serpents killed all those who went with the said captains, 
and the calamity was so great that the Ynca showed much 
concern at it. An old enchantress heard this, and she said 
that if she were allowed to go to the forests, she would put 
the serpents into so deep a sleep, that they would be able 
to do no harm. As soon as she had received permission, she 
went to the place where the people had been killed. Here she 
performed her incantations, and said certain words, upon 
which the snakes changed from fierce and wild, to the gentle 
and fooHsh creatures they now are. All this that the In- 

The exploration of the course of the Purus is one of the chief desiderata 
in South American geogi-aphy. An expedition under Don Tiburcio de 
Landa, governor of Paucartambo, penetrated for some distance down the 
course of the Tono in about 1778 ; in about 1824 a Dr. Sevallos was sent 
on a similar errand ; General Miller, in 1835, penetrated to a greater 
distance than any other explorer before or since ; Lieutenant Gibbon, 
U.S.N., entered tlie forests in 1852 ; and I explored part of the course of 
the Tono in 1853. I have been furnished with a most valuable and in- 
teresting paper on the river Puriis, by Mr. Richard Spruce, the dis- 
tinguished South American traveller and botanist, which 1 have inserted 
as a note at the end of this chapter. 


dians say may indeed be a fiction or fable, but it is cer- 
tainly true that tlieso snakes, though so largo, do no hurt 
to any one. 

The forests of the Andes were well peopled in those parts 
where the Yncas had buildings and store-houses. The 
country is very fertile, yielding maize and yucas, as well as 
the other roots which they raise, and there are many excel- 
lent fruits. Most of the Spanish citizens of Cuzco have 
planted orange, Hme, fig, vine, and other trees of Spain, 
besides large plantain groves, and very luscious and fragrant 
pines. In the very distant and dense parts of these forests 
they say that there is a people so savage, that they have 
neither houses nor clothes, but go about like animals, killing 
birds and beasts with arrows.^ They have neither chiefs 
nor captains, and they lodge in caves or in the hollows 
of trees, some in one part and some in another. It is said, 
also (but I have not seen them), that there are very large 
monkeys which go about in the trees. 


In the year 1549 I was at Charcas ; and I went to see the 
cities in that region, for which purpose the president Gasca 
gave me letters of introduction to the corregidors, that I 
might learn all that was worthy of notice. 

' These are the Ckunchos and other wild tribes. 
- Unfit for translation. 



Mr. Richakd Spruce. 
" NoTWiTHSTAXDiXG the slow rate at which commerce and civilisation 
advance in the interior of South America, the opening up of routes of 
coimuunication is becoming daily of more importance, and is exciting 
greater interest among the inliabitants. Some of the mighty rivers of 
that continent might seem to have been made by nature's hand expressly 

z 2 


for steam navigation, being so wide and deeji, and flowing with so gentle 
and equable a descent, as to allow vessels of considerable size to reach the 
very foot of the mountains whence they take their rise ; such are the 
Amazons, the JNIagdalena, and the Plata, with its tributary the Parana ; 
whUe othei-s, of scarcely inferior volume, such as the Orinoco, the Rio 
Negro, the INIadeira, and the Cauca (the mam tributary of the Magda- 
lena), are navigable for a considerable distance in their lower and upper 
parts, but towards the middle of their course are beset by rapids and 
cataracts, wliich can only be ascended, even by small boats, with infinite 
trouble, risk, and delay. In the case of the Orinoco and Rio Negro, the 
cataracts occupy so short a space, the actual fall is so shght, and the 
nature of the ground is such, that the obstructions might be easily tm-ned 
or avoided by a navigable canal or a railroad, neither of which is likely to 
be constructed mitil the exigencies of commerce or colonisation shall make 
it an imperative necessity. The ]Madeira, however, the largest tributary 
of the Amazons, has no less than two hundred and forty miles of its middle 
course rendered practically unnavigable by a succession of rapids and cata- 
racts, below which it is navigable down to its mouth, — a distance of five 
hundred miles, — for steamers of a thousand tons ; and above them for 
smaller vessels for an equal distance, counting the navigation of its tribu- 
tary, the Mamore, which was explored by Lieut. Gibbon, of the U. S. 
navy, in 1851. Its other large tributaries, the Beni, the Ubahy, and the 
Guapore, are said to be navigable for an equal or even greater distance. 
Now the navigation of the Madeira is of the first importance to the 
Brazihans, not only as a means of commmiication with the western 
part of the empire, but also with the highlands of Bohvia and South- 
ern Peru, and it has been proposed to obviate its chfficulties, 1. By 
opening a road from the point where it ceases to that where it begins 
a^ain to be navigable, along which cargos might be transported on beasts 
of burden, and then be re-embarked above the falls ; or, 2. By exploring 
the rivers rmining to the Amazon from the southward, between thelNIadeira 
and Ucayali, in the behef that some one of them might prove to be navi- 
gable up to a point beyond the last falls of the Madeira. The three princi- 
pal of these rivei-s, beginning with the most easterly, or that nearest the 
Madeira, are the Puriis, the Yutahy, and the Yauary (or Javari). All these 
rivers are stated by Baena' to take their rise in the highlands of Peru, 
and the Punis has always been considered the largest of the three ; for 
although it di-ains a far narrower basin than the Madeira, and its stream 

» " Ensayo Corogrnfico sohre o Para. This author cites no authorities, 
but he had access to very valualile documents and manuscript maps in the 
archives of Paru, most of which were unfortunately destroyed or di.spei-sed 
during the uprising of Xhacabanos in 1835 ; and wherever I have had the 
opportunity of testing his statements by personal observation I have 
found them very exact. 


is much less -wide and rapid, it is still a noble river, with deep water 
for a very long way up. People have gone up it from the Amazon and 
the Barra do Rio Negro, in quest of tmile, brazil-nuts, and sarsiiparilla, 
for months without encountering any obstacle to its navigation. Lieuten- 
ant llerndon, in descending the Amazon in 1851, found the mouth of the 
Puriis to be half a mile wide, with a depth of 16 fathoms, while at one 
mile up the depth was 18 fathoms. 

" The Purvis communicates with the Amazon by one principal moutli, 
and by fom- narrow channels (called furos) wliich leave the Puriis at a 
good way up, and enter the Amazon, tliree above and one below the real 
mouth. Along these channels the water sometimes flows from the Puriis 
into the Amazon, and sometimes in the contrary direction, according to 
the variable height of tlie water in the two rivers ; and sometimes, when 
both rivers ai-e very low, the channels are left nearly dry. The middle 
one of the tlu-ee upper channels is called the Fiu-o de Cochiuani, a name 
wliich Acufia applies to the whole river, and -m-ites it ' Cuchiguani.'' It 
is a famous and navigable river, he says, and adds, ' Although there are 
rocks in some jjlaces, it has plenty of fish, a great number of turtle, 
abundance of maize and mandioc, and all things necessary for facilitating 
the entrance of an expedition.' ' The rocks of which he speaks, we shall 
afterwards find to be cliffs rising from the river's edge, and offering no 
hindrance whatever to navigation. 

""VMien I was at the Barra do Rio Negro in 1851, a man of colour, 
named Serafim Salgado, arrived there from the Puriis, where he had spent 
some six months, trading vnth the Piu-upm-ii (or Spotted) Indians, who 
inhabit the lower part of the river, and from whom it takes its name ; and 
also with the Catauixi's, whose settlements extend upwards to a distance 
of two months' joiu-ney from the mouth.^ I purchased from liim various 
warlike and other instruments used by the Catauixis, which are now de- 
I^osited in the IMuseum of A^egetable Products at Kew ; and obtained from 
him some curious information about the customs of those Indians. They 
use the powder of the roasted seeds of Acacia Niopo as a stimulant and 
narcotic, as I have also seen it used by the Gualiibos on the Orinoco, 
where it is called Niopo, and by the INIiiras and other Indians on the 
Amazon, where it is called Paricd. For absorbing the Parted by the 
nose, a tube is made of the bone of a bird's leg cut in two, and the 
pieces joined again at such an angle, that one end being apphed to the 
mouth the other reaches the nostrils ; a portion of snuff is then put into 
the tube and blown from it with great force up the nose. A Paricd 
clyster-pipe (which seems peculiar to the river Puriis, as I have myself 

> " Neiv Discovery of the Great River of the Amazons. INIarkham's 
Transl., p. 107. 

^ " Acufia v>Tites these names respectively ' Curucurus' and ' Qua- 


nowhere seen it used) is made on the same principle, of the long sliank- 
bone of the Tuyuyu {Mycteria Americana). The effect of the Paricd^ 
taken as snuff, is to speedily induce a sort of intoxication, resembling in 
its symptoms that produced by the fungus Amanita muscaria. Taken as 
a clyster it is a purge, more or less violent according to the quantity em- 
ployed. "When the Catauixi Indian is about to set forth on the chase, he 
takes a small clyster of Far led, and administers another to liis dog, the 
effects on both being (it is said) to clear their vision and render them 
more alert ! His weapon is generally the blowing cane, from which he 
propels slender darts tipped with Uirari poison. Attached to the quiver 
that holds the darts is a slender tube of bamboo, two inches and a half 
long, filled with soot, with wliich he smears his face when he approaches 
his hut, if he returns successful from the chase. By this signal his family 
are advertised beforehand whether or not they will have to go without 
supper. — The Catauixi name for the blowing-cane darts is Arardicohi, 
and for the poison Arinulihd — the only two words I possess of their 

" When in 1852 the ujjper part of the Amazon, and the adjacent ter- 
ritory east and west of it (corresponding to the ancient Caijitania do Rio 
Negro), were separated from the province of Para, and erected into a 
province, under the name of ' Amazonas,' the exploration of the rivers 
entering the Amazon on the south was taken up in earnest by the new 
president and the provincial assembly ; and Serafim Salgado was ap- 
pointed to explore the Pmais, with instructions " to seek a passage to the 
toiuns of Bolivia., by the river Puriis and the savannahs of the Beni, shorter 
than that hy the Madeira, and free from the cataracts of that river.'' Un- 
fortunately he was not fm-nished with a single instnmient — not even a 
compass, or so much as a lead Une for soimdings ; and his diary of his 
long and tedious voyage is deficient in information on almost every point 
of importance ; yet, meagre as it is, as no account of that river has ever 
appeared in print, I give here a translation of it, appending thereto a few 
deductions wliich I tliink may be legitimately made from it.' 

" ' Report of Serafim da Silva Salgado on the Exploration of the River 

" ' Most illustrious and excellent Sir, — I have the honour to present to 
your Excellency the report of the voyage which I made from this capital 
to the 7th Maloca (village) of the Purvis, which river I ascended during 
the space of four montlis and nineteen days. Along with it your Excel- 

' "The original exists as an appendix to the ' Falla dirigida li asseni- 
blea legislativa provincial do Amazonas, no dia 1" ile Oututu'o de 18,58,' 
by Senhor Herculano Ferreira Penna, the learned and patriolii' ]»resident 
of the province, who presented me with a copy of it when I revisited the 
Barra in 1854. 


lency will find also a list of the articles which I expended during this 
long and painful voyage, and another of the presents and other objects 
which were fiu-nished me to enable me to undertake it. 

"Your Excellency will allow me to mention that I have not yet paid 
the Tuxaiia (chief) ]\Iamm-ite, and the Piu-upurii Indian Baidil, who 
accompanied me on tliis voyage, and who have hitherto received no pay 
whatever. The first will be satisfied with a few presents and clothes, 
and the second with something less. I regret much that I have not been 
able to perform better the task which your Excellency's most excellent 
predecessor confided to me, and (from circumstances specified in the 
Report) that I could not go forward until I reached some Bolivian town ; 
although I believe there is none such on the banks of the Puriis, because 
at the seventh village of the Cucamas, which is the highest point I 
reached, the river is so narrow and obstructed, that it would be impossible 
to Jiscend much beyond it even in the season of flood. 

" ' I beg your excellency to kindly excuse the incompleteness of my 
performance, and to honour me by I'eceiving it, with the expressions of 
faithful respect and attachment that I offer to your Excellency. 

" '• Deos guarde a V. Ex°-. Barra do Eio Negi-o, 20 de Dezembro de 
1852. " ' Serafim da Silva Salgado. 

" ' To the most illustrious and excellent Senhor Dr. Manoel 
Gomes Correa de Miranda, 1st Vice-president of the 
Province of Amazonas.' 

" ' Report of the voyage made by the undersigned from the capital of 
the Province of Amazonas to the limit of navigation of the river 
Pur (is. 
" ' Honoured by being appointed, on the 5th of May of the current 
year, by liis Excellency the President of the Province, to exjilore the river 
Punis, and fiu-nished with the necessary instructions, I set out from this 
city of the Barra on the evening of the 10th of INIay, in two canoes, manned 
by twelve Indians, and accompanied by a corporal and twelve soldiers 
with their arms and ammunition, and travelled as fax as the lake Curu- 
pira, twelve hours' jom-ney. It was six in the evening of the 11th when 
I reached that lake, where I remained until the 13th, occupied in making 
toldas^ for the canoes. I started again on the morning of the 14th, and 
at nightfall was within the furo- of Aranduba, and as we could not pass 
it with daylight we remained there, and on the 15th passed out at the 
other end, and that day reached another /?<ro called Bode. 

' " Tolda, roof to shelter the after part of a canoe. 

2 " Furo^ a channel between two points of the same riveV, or from 
one river to another, which becomes filled with water in the time of 
flood. A narrow channel between an island and the bank is generally 
called a Parana -meritn, or little river. 


" ' On the 16th reached the Caldeu-a6;> the 17th the mouth of the 
furo Arapapa; the 18th the farm of Jose Antonio Barrozo ; the 19th a 
little way above the lake Calado ; the 20th lake IManacapimi, where we 
had to remain tiU the 24th to mend the ironwork of the hehn of one of 
the canoes. On the 24th, continuing to ascend the SoUmocs,- we reached 
the upper point of the island Marrecao ; on the 25th the island Para- 
tary ; on the 26th the paranu-merim of the same uame,^ along Avhich we 
sailed the three following days, passing along the lake Berury (already 
within the mouth of the Purfis) on the 30th, and on the 31st the Cas- 
tanha lake. In front of Berury on the right (ascending the Puiiis) is 
the parand-merim of S. Thome. 

" ' Miver Purfis. 

'' 'June 1st. Navigated as far as the upper point of the island Nauii, 
passing lake Estopa on the right hand as night closed in. 

" 'June 2nd. Reached the mouth of lake INIatliias, passing the moutlis 
of lakes Simara and Ubim. 

" 'June ord. Reached Paricatuba, where there was a guard of soldiers, 
having passed this day the mouths of lakes Cuiuana, Caua, and Tapurii 
ou the right, and Xaviana on the left. Here we remained until the 5th, 
to make a tolda for an additional canoe. 

" 'June 6th. Reached the mouth of lake Uaiapua, and on the left 
liand lake Paricatuba. 

" 'June 7th. To the beach called Carapana.^ 

" 'June 8th. To lake Uarmna on the left. 

" 'June 9th. To the parand-merim of Yary, along which we navigated 
all thi-ough the 10th and 11th. 

" 'June 12th. To the parand-merim of Macaco. 

" 'June 13th. To the 2}(tr and -merim of Sapid. 

" 'June 14th. To lake Taboca, on the right bank. 

" 'June 15th. To the mouth of lake Campina. 

" 'June 16th. To the parand-merim of Guajaratuba, along which we 
went all tlu'ough the 17th, before we got out again into the main river. 

^ " Caldeirao, a noted whirlpool in the Amazon, near the left bank, 
above the mouth of the Rio Negro. 

^ " Solinioes, the Brazilian name of the Amazon from the Rio Negro 
to tlie frontier, or even as far ivp as to the mouth of Ucayali. 

^ "The/wro, ov parand-merim, of Paratary is the lowest mouth of the 
Piu-ils, and it ajipears that Serafim sailed along it for three days before 
reaching the main channel. In 1851 I spent nearly a month on the 
lakes of i\Iana(piii-y, about foity miles below the mouth of the Puriis, and 
found that the Paratary had many ramifications, communicating not 
only -with those lakes, but also with the nmch larger lake of Uauatas to 
the eastward, and thence with the river JNIadeira. In the rainy season, 
indeed, it is iwssiblo to navigate for hundreds of miles parallel to the 
southern side of the Amazon without ever entering that river." 

■* " The beaches on the Amazon and its tributaries are very miportant 
to the Indians, being the places where the turtles lay their eggs ; and 
hence they all have a siwcial name. 


" 'June 18th. Along the parand-merlm of Chapeo. 

" 'June 11). Rested this day below Tana-merim, the site of an ancient 
maloca of the ]\luras. Started again on the 20th, and on the 
reached the silio of Ilygino (a man of colour), where we remained all 
through the 22nd, and on the 2;3rd reached the beaches of Tabocul. 

" 'June 24:th. Went on until we passed the Paranil-pixuna. 

" 'June 25th. Reached Itaituba, so called from its rocky cliffs. 

" 'June 26th. To the beaches of Quati. 

" 'June 27th. Drew up in front of iVrhna, a place where they are 
founding a new village. We passed this day the mouth of lake Jacare, 
on the left. 

" 'June 28th. Went on this day wdthout stopping, and on the 29th 
reached the beach called Paxiuba, and on the 30th the mouth of the 
Tanariit Grande. Passed the outlet of lake Manary on the left, and 
that of the Tauari on the right. Tlu-oughout tliis month the voyage was 
not interrupted by any untoward occm-rence, but we suffered much 
from the hea\'y rains and the great plague of mosquitos. 

" 'July 1st. This day reached the beach of Tauauii on the left. Went 
on all through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, and on the 5th reached the beach 
of Itud. During this time eight Miira Indians, part of om* crew, 
deserted, and we were obliged to seek hands to supply their place in the 
village of Arima, in which we succeeded by the aid of the Tuxaua 
Mary. We could then start again, and on the 6th reached the beach of 

" 'July 7th. This day halted in front of the furo Muahtin, and on the 
8th in the mouth of the fm'o Caiaupe. 

" 'July 9tb. To the mouth of the river Tapaua, which enters on the 

" 'July 10th. Reached the beach of Macuquiry. 

•• 'July 11th. To the beach of Aramia, passing the mouth of the Paua- 
trary on the right. 

" 'July 12th. To the beach of Mapuahiin. 

" 'July 13th. To the beach of Pucutilian. 

" 'July llrth. To the beach of Cauarchan. 

" 'July 15th. To beyond lake Capilnin. 

" 'July 16th. To the beach of Juihau. 

" 'July 17th. Below lake Caquatahan, where we met rafts of Puru- 
puni Indians. 

" 'July 18th. To the beach Arapapa, passing the mouths of the rivers 
Mucm'n and Caquatahan on the left. "NV'e went along the margin of the 
same beach all thi-ough the 19th, 20th, and 21st, and arrived on the 22nd 
at the beach of Auaboneuy, the 23rd at that of Uarima, and the 24:th 
at that of Curianhiin, passing this day the mouth of the river Apituluin. 

" 'July 25th. Xa\^gated this day along the i-iver bank, and on the 
26th reached the beach of Mapuahan ; on the 27th that of Assaituba, 
where we remained all the 28th to repair one of the canoes. 


" 'July 29tli. Reached this day the beach of Paciha, having passed 
the mouth of the river Mary, and on the 31st reached the beach of 

'' 'During this month the voyage was continued without any otlier 
interruption than the desertion of the Miu-a Indians, and the necessity of 
repau-ing the canoes. On some days we went on until midnight to make 
up for the delay in the mornings, when the thick fog was not dissipated 
by the sun's rays untU eight or ten o'clock. 

" 'August 1st. Reached the beach of Jurucua; on the 2nd that of 
Capim ; on the 3rd that of Situahan ; on the -Ith that of TeiTahan ; on 
the 5th that of Catarrahiin ; on the 6th that of Boto, passing this day a 
point called Catatia on the right. 

" 'August 7th. Reached the beach of I\Iaquu-ahan, and passed the 
mouth of the river Cunhuaryhtin. 

" 'August 8th. To the beach of Parahan, ha\'ing passed this day some 
high chffs called Cumarihan. 

" 'August 9th. To the beach of Curiana, passing lake Learihiin on 
the right. 

" 'August 10th. To the beach of Quary, passing the mouth of lake 
Tmnehan, where there are rocky cliffs. 

" 'August 11th. Reached the beach of MamurUian-merim, wliich is on 
the right bank ; the 12th the beach of Gamuhim ; the 13th that of 
Itirapuii ; the 14th that of Ca^adua ; the 15th that of Guajara ; the 16th 
that of Aruta ; the 17th the mouth of the river Paniny ; the 18th the 
beach of Parahiln ; the 19th the mouth of the river Chiriuiny. From 
tliis river begins a very long beach, along which we navigated all through 
the 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 21th, and 25th, and on the 26th arrived at 
another beach called Pedreira. On the 27th we were alongside another 
extensive beach, by which we went on uutd the end of the mouth. 
Nothing worth mentioning happened throughout tlais month ; but the 
voyage began to grow more difficult, because the river got gradually 
narrower, much obstructed with trunks of trees, and so very tortuous, 
that we have sometimes gone on a whole day without advancing scarcely 
anytliing, on account of the great bends of the river. 

" ' September. Continuing to ascend the river during the 1st, 2nd, and 
3rd, on the 4th passed the mouth of the igarape Macuiany, said to be 
inhabited by a horde of cannibals, of the tribe Jamamadi, to the nmnber 
of about four hundred. Thus we went on until the 11th, when we 
passed another igarape, the Euaca, on the left, in which also tliere are 
numerous Jamamadi Indians. In the mouth of this stream, and on an 
adjacent beach, there was an encampment of more than a liundrod 
people who had been drawn together by hearing our reveille. 

" 'On the 12th passed the mouth of the river Canaquiry, whose sources 
are in the campos of the river Madeira. In this river api^eared sixteen 


ubds and cascas^ with Indians of the tribe Canamary (cannibals), who 
came out to meet us; they were in all sixty-five souls. By an Indian 
who accompanied our expedition, and who understood a little of their 
language, we learnt that the Canamarys were plotting among them- 
selves to surprise our canoes by night, kill us all, and carry off our 
goods. Profiting by this timely warning, I had the canoes anchored in 
the middle of the stream, and prepared our troops to resist any attack 
that should be attempted by night. Early in the morning the Indians 
{hspereed, but not before we had bought of them their arrows and 
curabis (poisoned arrows), and then, telling them that another canoe was 
following us, we got rid of them. 

"'On the 18th reached the first maloca (village) of the Cucama 
Indians ; on the 23rd we drew up at the second ; on the 29th at the 
third, and, although the voyage began to be very arduous, we went on all 
day of the 30th. 

" ' October. After having gone on the whole of the 1st, we arrived on 
the 2nd of this month at the fourth maloca of Cucamas ; on the 4th, at 
the fifth maloca ; on the 6th, at the sixth maloca. ; and on the 9th, at the 
seventh maloca. 

" 'These Indians, gathered together in malocas., to the number of thirty, 
forty, or fifty each, subsist on ai^Am {=Manihot Aypi Pohl.)"^and bananas 
of which they have plantations, and on game. They are light-coloured, 
well-made (that is, the men, for of women we saw not a single one, be- 
cause they hide them away, except the old ones), and they bore the under 
lip. They wear ponchos. They had no iron tools of any kind, and they 
were well content with some axes which we gave them. They would 
employ this tool to make their canoes, for they make their clearings by 
fire alone. 

" ' They were highly delighted when they saw us ajjproach, for thoy 
had never before seen civilised peojjle ; although they mentioned a few 
names of persons whom they had seen at the headwaters of the Juruti. 

" ' Many of these Indians wished to go down the river with our expe- 
dition, but, as our farinha was nearly exliausted, I did not venture to 
take them ; besides, as their principal aliment is aiplm and bananas, and 
we had a great distance to go before coming to those plants again, they 
would necessarily have suffered much by the way. 

" ' They Uve unceasingly persecuted by the tribes Canamarys, Apu- 
rinas, and Oainomaris (all cannibals), who unite to harass them, rob 
them, and kill those they meet in order to devour them. 

1 " Ubd., a canoe made simply of a hoUow trunk, and stretched to the 
form of a boat by putting fire under it and cross pieces of wood witliin it. 
Casca., a bark canoe. 

■^ " Tliis is the yiica of Peru, and is a distinct species from the mandiocea 
(^Manihot utUissima Pohl.), which is the staple article of food throughout 


"• ' Tlie Cucamas have such a way of speaking that they seem to us to 
belong to Bolivna, for they make use of several Spanish words, and call, 
for instance, an axe hacha, a cutlass machete^ a knife cnckillo, etc. 

'' '■ It was quite impossible to ascend liigher than the seventh maloca, 
for the river was so narrow, and so much obstructed, that it did not admit 
the j)assage of even the smallest canoes. 

" ' For this cause we set out to return on the 10th, and, going along 
without stopping, we reached this capital on the oOth of November, about 
eight o'clock at night. 

" ' Finally, in all this long and painful voyage, we had not to deplore 
any fatal accident. 

" ' Barra do Rio Xegi'o, 20th of December, 1852. 

" ' Serafim da Silva Salgado.' 

" With the ' Report' before us, let us endeavour to ascertain the ex- 
treme point of Serafim's na^dgation on the Funis. As he says not a word 
about bearmgs and distances, the only guide we have to the latter is the 
time occupied in the ascent, and I find that, deducting the days when he 
was stationary, he travelled from the Barra to the head of navigation on 
the Funis in 141 days. Xow, if we take a known distance on the Ama- 
zon, viz. from the Barra to ^Manacapurii, which is 82 nautical miles (fol- 
lowang the comse of the river), we find that Serafim spent just 8 days 
over it, being at the rate of 10| miles per day. In the month of INlay, 
when he stai-ted, the Amazon would already have risen considerably and 
the current would be difficult to stem ; hence this slow rate of progi-ess.' 
The Fm-iTS in its lower part has a much gentler current than the Amazon, 
and there he would no doubt get on better ; but it would attain its highest 
level during the period of Serafim's voyage up it, and would then run 
much more than usual : and he mentions expressly that in its upper part 
the current became from day to day more rapid as he proceeded ; so that 
I think we may safely assmne 10^ miles a day as the average rate of pro- 
gress thi'oughout the voyage, and travellers who have had to creep up 
South American rivers in canoes will agree with me that it is rather over 
than under the mark. This woiUd give us for 

Distance from Barra to head of navigation of Funis l-llo miles 
Deduct distance from Barra to mouth of Funis - 150 miles 

And we get 1295 miles, for 
the whole length of Serafim's navigation of the Funis, including all the 
bends of the river, from which at least one-third (but probably more) 
would have to be deducted to reduce it to a straight line. Taking off 

' •• In June 1851, I took six days to go from the Barra only half way 
to Maiiacapurii, but the river was then at the lieiglit of flood, and my 
large lK)at was manned by only tlu'ee men. 


tlie third part, leaves 868 miles for the shortest distance between the 
extreme points of the navigation of the Piiriia, or say in round numbers 
800 miles, which is possibly still in excess of the actual distance. Sup- 
posing that on the map of Spix and IMartius (which is even yet the best 
we ix)ssess for a great part of South America) the general direction 
assigned to the Puriis is correct (N.E., or rather N. 40° E.), and measur- 
ing on that rhmnb for 800 miles, we reach a point which is in lat. 12° 30' 
S., long, (from Greenwich) about 70° W. To ascertain where this takes 
us to we must go to the Andes of the S. E. of Peru, and inqviire what streams 
flow northward from thence, between the headwaters of the Ucayali on the 
west, and those of the ISIadeira on the east. The fullest and probably the 
only trustworthy account w^e have of those streams is contained in two 
memoirs, by Mr. Clements Markliam, published in the journals of the 
Royal Geographical Society, giving an accoimt of an expedition made to 
the north-east of Cuzco in 1853, and of another in the adjacent province 
of Carabaya in 1860. He found the streams there divided into three 
groups, the most westerly uniting to form the river called the Madre de 
Dios, or Amaru-mayu, while the streams of the middle group formed the 
Inambari, and the most easterly were tributaries of the Tambo-j^ata. He 
descended the Tono (as the upper part of the Madre de Dios is called) to 
a jioint in about lat. 12° 45' S., long. 70° 30' W. ; the Sandia to where it 
unites with the Huari-huari to form the Inambari, in lat. about 13° 10' S., 
long. 69° 15' AV. ; and the Tambo-pata to lat. 12° 18' S., long. 68° 38' W. 
Now if the Piirus be prolonged but forty miles beyond the point to which 
Serafim is supposed to have ascended in 1852, it brings us exactly to 
where IMi'. IMarkliam descended on the Madre Dios in the following year 
(1853). In so savage a region it is quite possible that two explorers, the 
one starting from the mouth and the other from the head of a river, 
might reach nearly the same point on it, at the very same time, and yet 
not only be unaware of each other's proximity, but afterwards, in com- 
paring their itineraries, not find therein a single name common to both. 
There is, however, one name on ]\lr. ]Markham's map, that of the river 
Inambari, which I feel pretty confident is the same as the Oainamari 
mentioned by Serafim as the name of an Indian nation who harassed the 
pacific and agTicultural Cucamas at the head of the Pm'iis. The Indian 
name of a river is generally that of a nation inhabiting its banks, as in 
the case of the Piu-iis itself. Besides, the Indian of the Amazon, follow- 
ing the genius of their language (the Tupi), are very apt to prefix to 
names, especially such as begin vnth. a vowel, a soimd like that of the 
English ■?<;, which the Portuguese and Spaniards have variously repre- 
sented by the letters u, o, oa, hu, ffu, and even b ; thus, to the northward 
of the Amazon, we have the river Guanpes, Uaupes, or Aupes ; the 
Guasie, Sie, or Xie (pron. Shie) ; precisely analogous instances to Oaina- 
mari, Uinamarl, or Tnam(b)ari ; for (it should be added) the letter b is 


generally a modern interpolation in names of the plain, not heard from 
the month of a native Indian.' 

" Serafim does not tell ns, and probably did not ascertain, whether his 
Oainamari Indians lived on a river which fell into the Puriis. INIr. IVIark- 
ham's impression, after \Tsitiug the Madre de Dios, the Inambari, and 
the Tambo-pata, and noting their direction at the lowest point he 
attained on them, was that all three united to form one river, which he 
supposed to be the Piinis ; and his oi^inion is entitled to great weight, as 
that of the only person capable of giving an account of what he saw, who 
has visited all the three rivers. Here, however, is the difficulty, which 
only a new and thorough exploration can clear up ; for all speculation on 
such a point is uncertain and valueless. Comparing the maj^s of INIartius 
and Markham, and bearing in mind the statement of Baena, one would 
be tempted to say that the Tambo-imta was the head of the Puriis, the 
Inambari of the Yutahy, and the Madre de Dios of the Yauary ; or the 
INIadre de Dios may really be the origin of the Piu-iis, and the other two 
streams may flow into the Beni. There are other jjossible modes of com- 
bination, and there is even another tributary of the Amazon, intermediate 
between the Yutahy and the Funis, I mean the Yurud, which, though a 
smaller river, has so long a course, that we see (in Serafim's story) 
Cucamas of the Funis having intercourse with people at the head of 
the Y'urua. 

"It is clear from Serafim's report, that the plain tlu-ough which the 
Funis flows has a scarcely perceptible declivity, for he nowhere en- 
countered cataracts, or even rapids. Indeed, on referring to the maps, 
and considering the nature of the ground, we see that the head of naviga- 
tion of the Puriis must needs be on a lower level than that of the Beni 
and ]\Iamore ; and yet on a tributary of the latter (the Chapare) Gibbon 
found that water boiled at 209° 5', indicating an elevation above the sea 
of only four hundi-ed and sixty-five feet. Tliis goes far to show that 
Humboldt may be correct in his suj^position of a strip of low land 
extendino- fi-om the Amazon valley, between the Andes on the one hand. 

> "I should suppose the Uainamaris to be a tribe of the savage Chun- 
chos. Many of the large Indian nations spoken of by old authors are now 
much subdivided ; thus of the Jibaros, on the eastern side of the Quite- 
nian Andes, have been constituted in modern times the tribes Achuales, 
Pindus, Huambisas, etc. 

"The Cucamas are a section of the great Tupi nation, and speak a 
very euphonious dialect of Tupi. Tliey are now found scattered in most 
of the villages on the ]\Iarafion (or upper Amazon) in Peru, and formerly 
existed in much greater numbers than at i^resent in the collage of La 
Laguna, within the Huallaga. It is curious to find a remnant of them 
so far separated from the bulk of their nation as at the head of the 
Funis, but it is explicable enough when we come to trace the migrations 
of the Tiipis and Cucama.s. as narrated by Acuiia and other -ftTiters." 


and the mountains of Brazil on the other, all through tlic provinces of 
Mtijos and CIii(|uitos to the basin of tlie river Plate. The navigable part 
of tiie Funis extends to the southward, along this lowland, apparently to far 
beyond the last falls of the INladeira ; its depth is probably great enough 
to admit of its being navigated by steamers at least up to within two 
hundred miles of the highest point reached by Serafim ; and we may 
therefore be allowed to predict that the Piunis will at some future day 
become one of the great highways between the Andes and the Amazon. 

"Like other affluents of the Amazon flowing tlu-ough a champaign 
country, the Puriis has numerous lakes, and but very few rivers tributary 
to it. I have ascended two rivers, entering the Amazon from the north- 
ward, which have precisely the same character, viz., the Trombetas and 
the Pastasa. The latter of these two rivers is in some parts nearly two 
miles in breadth, but its stream is generally sluggish and so shallow that, 
although I entered it when the waters were at their highest level, yet 
when they partially subsided during the voyage, we had great difficulty 
in finding a channel sufficiently deep to float our canoes, although the 
latter were merely hollowed trunks, and we were still some distance 
below the confluence of the Bobonasa. On the Purus, however, Serafim 
does not once mention being impeded by insufficient depth of water. 
He complains of the foggy mornings, such as I have experienced on all 
the rivers whose coiu-se is northerly or southerly ; whereas on the Amazon, 
and even on the Rio NegTo, so long as its course (in ascending) is 
westerly, the easterly trade-wind usually prevents any accmniUation of 
fog, especially in the dry season, when that wind prevails most." 

"Richard Spruce." 

"June 13th, 1864." 



How the Indians carry herbs or roots in their mouths, and concerning 
the herb called coca, which they raise in many parts of this king- 

In all parts of tlie Indies thx'ougli which I have travelled I 
have observed that the natives take great delight in having 
herbs or roots in their mouths. Thus, in the district of the 
city of Antioquia, some of the peoj)le go about with a small 
leaf in their mouths, and in the province of Arma they 
chew another leaf. In the districts of Quinbaya and Au- 
zerma they cut small twigs from a young green tree, which 
they rub against their teeth without ceasing. In most of 
the villages subject to the cities of Cah and Popayan they 
go about with small coca leaves in their mouths, to which 
they apply a mixture, which they carry in a calabash, made 
from a certain earth-like hme. Throughout Peru the Indians 
carry this coca in their mouths, and from morning until 
they lie down to sleep, they never take it out. When I 
asked some of these Indians why they carried these leaves 
in their mouths (which the}^ do not eat, but merely hold 
between their teeth), they replied that it prevents them 
from feeling hungry, and gives them great \ngour and 
strength. I believe that it has some such effect, although, 
perhaps, it is a custom only suited for people like these 
Indians. They sow this coca in the forests of the Andes, 
from Guamanga to the town of Plata. The trees are small, 
and they cultivate them with great care, that they may yield 
the leaf called coca. They put the leaves in the sun, and 
afterwards pack them in long narrow bags, containing a- 
little more than an arroha each. This coca was so highly 
valued in Peru in the years 1548, 1549, 1550, and 1551, 
that there was not a root nor anything gathered from a tree, 
except spice, which was in such estimation. In those years 


they valued the rcparthnlentos of Cuzco, La Paz, and Plata 
at eighty thousand dollars, more or less, all arising from 
this coca. Coca was taken to the mines of Potosi for sale, 
and the planting of the trees and picking of the leaves was 
carried on to such an extent, that coca is not now worth so 
much, but it will never cease to be valuable. There are 
some persons in Spain who are rich from the produce of 
this coca, having traded with it, sold and re-sold it in the 
Indian markets.^ 


Of the road from Cuzco to the city of La Paz ; and of the villages, until 
the Indians called Canches are passed. 

The distance from the city of Cuzco to the city of La Paz 
is eighty leagues, a little more or less. It must be known 
that, before La Paz was founded, all the towns and villages 
now subject to that city were within the limits of the city of 
Cuzco. Setting out from Cuzco by the royal road of CoUa- 
suyu, it leads to the narrow pass of Mohina, leaving the 
buildings of Quispicanchi on the left hand. The road goes 
by this place, after leaving Cuzco, and is paved with stones. 
In Mohina there is a large swamp, across which the road is 
carried on a paved causeway. There were great edifices in 
Mohina, which are now in ruins. When the governor Don 
Francisco Pizarro entered Cuzco with the Spaniards, they 
found much gold and silver, and rich and precious clothing in 
these edifices. I have heard some Spaniards say that there 
was a block of stone in this place, in the shape of a man, 
with long ropes, and beads in the hand, besides other 
figures, some of which they adored as idols. 

* See my chapter on coca cultivation in Travels in Peru and India, 
chap, xiv, p. 232. 


Beyond Mohina is the ancient village of Urcos^ which is 
about six leagues from Cuzco.^ On this road there is a 
very large and strong wall, and the natives say that along 
the top of it a channel of water was conducted with great 
labour from a river, with the same skill and order as they 
make their other irrigating channels. In this great wall 
there was a broad doorway, at which there were porters who 
collected the tribute which the Indians were obliged to pay 
to the lords. There were other overseers of the same Yncas 
at this place, to seize and punish those who had the audacity 
to take gold or silver out of the city of Cuzco. In this 
place there were quarries whence they took stones for 
building edifices, which are well worth seeing. Urcos is 
built on a hill, where there were palaces for the lords. 
Thence to Quiquixana the distance is three leagues over a 
rugged country. Here the river of Yucay flows through 
the valley, over which there is a bridge made like others in 
this country. Near this place the Indians called Cavinas 
are settled, who, before they were subjugated by the Yncas, 
wore a large ornament in their ears. They say that Manco 
Ccapac, the founder of the city of Cuzco, secui-ed the 
friendship of these Indians. They go about dressed in 
wooUen clothes, with a black fillet twisted round their 
heads. In the mountains there are villages in which the 
houses are built of stone. In former times they held a 
temple in great veneration, called Ausancata, near which 
they say that their ancestors saw an idol or devil in the 
same dress as their own. These Indians held for certain 
that the souls which departed from the bodies went to a 
great lake, where, in their vain behef, they held that they 
had their origin, and where they again entered into the 
bodies of those who were born. After they were subjugated 
by the Yncas they became more civilised and intelligent, 

' Cieza de Leon now conducts the reader up the beautiful valley of 
Vilca-mayu, or Yucay. 


and adored the sun^ without forgetting their former temple. 
Beyond this province is that of the Canches, who are 
intelligent and homely Indians, without malice^ and always 
skilful in working, especially gold and silver. They also 
had large flocks of sheep. Their villages are Hke those of 
their neighbours ; they wear the same clothes, with a black 
fillet round the head, the ends of which hang down as low 
as the chin. They say that, in ancient times, they waged 
great wars with Huira-ccocha Ynca, and with some of his 
predecessors, and that, when they submitted to their rule, 
the Yncas valued them highly. Their arms were darts, 
slings, and weapons called Ayllos, with which they captured 
their enemies. Their methods of interment were the same 
as those already described ; their tombs were built of stone, 
on the heights, and here they put the bodies of their chiefs, 
together with some of their wives and servants. They do 
not value the vanities and honours of the world, though it 
is true that some of the chiefs are haughty to the Indians, 
and treat them with asperity. At certain seasons of the 
year they celebrate their festivals, for which they have 
fixed days. In the buildings of the chiefs there were places 
where they had their dances, and where the chiefs ate and 
drank. They conversed with the devil, like all the other 
Indians. Throughout all the land of these Canches there 
is maize and wheat, and plenty of partridges and condors, 
and in their houses the Indians have many fowls. They 
also catch excellent fish in the rivers. 



Of the provinces of Canas, and of Ayavire. 

After leaving the province of Canches, tliat of Canas^ is 
entered^ which is the name of another tribe, and the names 
of the villages are Hatuncana, Chiquana, Horuro, Cacha, 
and others which I shall not enumerate.^ These Indians all 

' Canas was conquered by Lloque Yupanqui, the third Ynca. G. de 
la Vega, i, hb. ii, cap. 18. 

^ The country inhabited by the Indian tribes of Canas and Canches 
was, in Spanish tunes, included within the Corrigimiento of Tinta, one of 
the divisions of the Presidency of Cuzco. It now comprises the two pro- 
vinces of Canas and Canches. It consists of lofty plateaux or punas of 
the Andes, intersected by the deep and fertile ravine tlirough which 
flows the river Vilcamayu or Yucay ; and is bounded on the south by the 
equally lofty plains of the CoUao. The punas are covered with flocks of 
llamas ; and the more inaccessible fastnesses are the haunts of huanacus, 
vicunas, deer, and viscachas (a kind of rabbit). 

In the most remote times the tribe of Canas inhabited one side of the 
Vilcamayu ravine, and that of Canches the other. The former were 
proud, cautious, and melancholy, their clothing was usually of a sombre 
colour, and their music was plaintive and sad. The latter were joyous, 
light hearted, and sociable, but very poor, their clothing consisting of 
skins. They made wars upon each other, and built their vOlages in 
strong fortified positions called pucaras. These tribes were brought 
under the yoke of the Yncas by Sinchi Rocca, the second of his dynasty. 
He permitted the ancient chiefs to retain their power, but insisted upon 
their children being educated at Cuzco. The Canas, however, were con- 
stantly in a state of revolt, untU the Ynca Huayna Ccapac gave one of 
his daughters in marriage to their chief. 

The Canches were of middle height, very bold, restless, inconstant, but 
good workmen, industrious, and brave. The Canas, though of a darker 
complexion, were stouter and better made. The Canches loved sohtude and 
were veiy silent, and built their huts in secluded ravines and valleys. The 
villages of the Canches were Sicuani, Cacha, Tinta, Checacupe, Pampa- 
marca, Yanaoca, and Lanqui ; and those of the Canas were Checa, Pichi- 
gua, Yacuri, Coparaque, Tungasaca, Surimani. Sicuani, in the ravine 
of the Vilcamayu, is the principal place in the country of the Canches 
and Canas. At the end of the last century it contained a population of 
four thousand Indians, and one thousand Mestizos. The number of 


wear clotlies, both meu and women, and they have large, 
round, high woollen caps on their heads. Before they 
were subjugated by the Yncas, they had their villages in 
the mountain fastnesses, whence they came forth to make 
war; afterwards they descended into the valley. Their 
customs with regard to burials are the same as those of the 
Canches. In the province of these Canas there was a 
temple which they called Ancocahua, where they performed 
sacrifices, in their blindness ; and in the village of Cacha 
there were great edifices, built by order of Tupac Ynca 
Yupanqui. On the other side of the river there is a small 
enclosure, within which they found some gold. This temple 
was built in memory of their god Huira-ccocha, whom they 
call the Creator. Within it there was a stone idol the 
height of a man, with a robe, and a crown or tiara on the 
head. Some said that this might be the statue of some 
apostle who arrived in this land.^ In the second part of 

Indians in the whole district was calculated, at the same time, to amount 
to twenty-six thousand souls. Mercurio Peruana {^Nueva Edicion), i, 
p. 193. 

' Garcilasso de la Vega relates a tradition respecting this temple at 
Cacha, which is on the right bank of the river Yucay, sixteen leagues 
south of Cuzco. A supernatural being is said to have appeared to the 
Ynca Huii-a-ccocha, before the battle with Anco-hualluc and his allies on 
the plain of Yahuar-pampa (see note to p. 280), and after his victory the 
grateful prince caused a temple to be erected at Cacha, in memory of the 
phantom. As the vision appeared in the open air, so the temple was to 
have no roof, and as he was sleeping at the time imder an overhanging 
rock, so there was to be a small covered chapel opening into the temple, 
which was 120 feet long by 80. The edifice was biult of large stones 
carefully dressed and finished. It had four doors, three of them being 
merely ornamental recesses, and the fourth, facing to the east, was alone 
used. Within the temple there were walls winding round and round and 
forming twelve lanes, each seven feet A^ade, and covered overhead with 
huge stone slabs ten feet long. As these lanes went round and round 
they approached the centre of the temple, and at the end of the twelfth 
and last there was a flight of steps leading to the top. At the end of 
each lane or passage there was a window by which light was admitted. 
The steps were double, so that people could go up on one side and down 


this work I shall treat of what I believe, and of what I was 
able to collect respecting the report that fire came down from 
heaven, and converted many stones into cinders. Through- 
out this province of Canas the climate is cold, as well as in 
Canches, but the country is well supplied with provisions 
and flocks. To the west is the South Sea, and to the east 
the forests of the Andes. From the village of Chiquana, in 
this province of Canas, to Ayavire the distance is fifteen 
leagues, vnthin which limits there are some villages of the 
Canas, many plains, and great meadows well suited for 
flocks, if it were not so cold. Now the great quantity of 
herbage is only useful for guanacos and vicuiias. 

In ancient times it was a grand thing to see this town of 
Ayavire, and the place is still worthy of note, especially the 
great tombs, which are so numerous that they occupy 
more space than the habitations of the hving. The Indians 
positively assert that the natives of this town of Ayavire are 
of the same descent and lineage as those of Canas; and 
that the Ynca Tupanqui waged wars and fought battles 
with them, in which they suSered so severely that they 
submitted to his service, to save themselves from entire 
destruction. But as some of the Yncas were vindictive, 
after the Ynca had killed a great number of the Indians of 
Copacopa and other villages in the fCrests of the Andes, 
whom he had got into his power by deceit, he did the same 
to the natives of Ayavire, in such sort that few or none were 
left alive. It is notorious that those who escaped wandered 
in the fields for a long time, calling on their dead, and 
mourning with groans and great sorrow over the destruc- 
tion that had come upon their people. As Ayavire is a 
large district, through which a good river flows, the Ynca 
Yupanqui ordered that a great palace should be built hci-e, 

on the other. The floor above was paved with polished black stones, and 
on one side there was a chapel, within which was the statue representing 
the phantom. The Spaniards entirely demolished this temple. 


which was accordingly done^ together with many buildings 
where the tribute was stored up. A temple of the sun 
was also built^ as one of the most important things. The 
Ynca then ordered that Indians (who are called Mitimaes) 
should come here with their wives, for there were few 
natives left, and the Mitimaes became lords of the soil, and 
heirs to the dead natives, and they were directed to form a 
large town near the temple of the sun and the principal 
edifices. The town went on increasing until the Spaniards 
arrived in this kingdom, but since that time, what with the 
civil wars and other calamities, it has greatly decreased, 
like all the others. 

I entered it at the time when it was held in encomienda 
by Juan de Pancorbo, a citizen of Cuzco ; and I learnt these 
particulars, which I have wi^itten down, from the best in- 
formation within my reach. Near this town there is a 
ruined temple, where once they offered up sacrifices. And 
the multitude of tombs which appear all round this town is 
held to be a notable sisrht. 


Of the great district which is iiiliabited by the CoUas^ of the appearance 
of the laud where their villages are built, and how Mitimaes were 
stationed to supply them with provisions. 

The region which they call Collao appears to me to be the 
largest province in all Peru, and the most populous. The 
Collas are first met with at Ayavire, and they extend as far 
as Caracoto. To the east of their province are the forests 
of the Andes, to the west are the peaks of the snowy 
mountains, which descend on the other side to the South 
Sea. Besides the lands which the natives occupy with 
their fields and houses, there are vast uninhabited tracts 


full of wild flocks. The land of the Collas is level in most 
parts, and rivers of good water flow through it. 

These plains form beautiful and extensive meadows, the 
herbage of which is always plentiful, and at times very 
green, although in the spring it is parched up as in Spain. 
The winter begins (as I have already said) in October, and 
lasts until April. The days and nights are almost equal, 
and the cold in this district is greater than in any other 
part of Peru, excepting the snowy peaks, because the land 
is high, and comes up to the mountains. Certainly if this 
land of the Collao had a deep valley like those of Xauxa or 
Chuquiapu, which would yield maize, it would be one of the 
richest in all the Indies. When the wind is blowing it is 
hard work to travel over these plains of the Collao, but 
when there is no wind, and the sun is shining, it is very 
pleasant to see the beautiful and well-peopled meadows. 
But the climate is so cold that there is no maize, nor any 
kind of tree ; and the land is too sterile to yield any of the 
fruits which grow in other parts. ^ The houses in the 
villages are built of stone, and roofed with straw instead of 
tiles, and they are placed close together. This coimtry of 
the Collao was once very populous, and was covered with 
large villages, round which the Indians had their fields, 
where they raised crops for food. Their principal food is 
potatoes,^ which are like earth nuts, as I have before de- 

» This description of the Collao is veiy accurate. South of the Vilca- 
uota mountains the Andes separate into two distinct chains, namely the 
Cordillera or coast range and the Eastern Andes, which include the loftiest 
peaks in South America, IlHmani and Sorata. The Collao is the region 
between these two ranges. It contains the great lake of Titicaca, and 
consists of elevated plains intersected by rivers flowing into the lake. 

2 The potatoe was indigenous to the Andes of Peru, and the best 
potatoe in the world is grown at a place called Huamantango, near Lima. 
I am surprised to find that Humboldt should have doubted this fact, 
(" La pomme de terre n'est pas indigene au Perou.'' Nouv. Espagne, 
ii, p. 400), seeing that there is a native word for potatoe, and that it is 
mentioned as the stabile food of the people of the Collao, by Cieza de 


clared in this history. They dry these potatoes in the sun, 
and keep them from one harvest to another. After they 
are dried they call these potatoes chunus, and they are 
highly esteemed and valued among them.^ They have no 
water in channels for irrigating the fields, as in many other 
parts of this kingdom, so that, if the natural supply of 
water required for the crops fails, they would suffer from 
famine and want if they had not this store of dried potatoes. 
Many Spaniards have enriched themselves and returned 
prosperous to Spain by merely taking these chunvs to sell 
at the mines of Potosi. They have another kind of food 
called oca,^ which is also profitable, but not so much so as a 
seed which they also raise, called qidnua,^ a small grain 
like rice. When the harvest is abundant, all the inhabitants 
of the Collao live contented and free from want, but when 
there is want of water they suffer great distress. 

But, in truth, the Kings Yncas who ruled over this em- 
pire were so wise, and such excellent governors, that they 
established laws and customs without which the majority of 
their people would have suffered great hardships, as they 
did before they came under the rule of the Yncas, In the 
Collao, and in all the parts of Peru, where, owing to the 
cold climate, the land is not so fertile and abundant as in 
the warm valleys, they ordered that, as the great forests of 

Leon, and other early writers. Moreover the Solanacece are the com- 
monest plants in several parts of Peru. The ancient Quichua for potatoe 
is ascu or acsu, and the same word exists in the Chinchaysuyu dialect. 
{Torres Rubio, p. 219.) 

' Chunus or frozen potatoes are still the ordinary food of the natives 
of the Collao. They dam up square shallow pools by the sides of 
streams, and fill them with potatoes during the cold season of June and 
July. The frost soon converts them into chunus^ which ai'e insipid and 

2 The oca {Oxalis tuber osa Lin.) is an oval shaped root, the skm pale 
red, and the inside white. It is watery, has a sweetish taste, and is 
much liked by the Peruvians. 

See note at page 143. 




the Andes bordered on these sterile tracts, a certain number 
of Indians with their wives should be taken from each 
village, and stationed to cultivate the land in the places 
where the chiefs directed them to settle. Here they sowed 
the things which would not grow in their own country, 
sending the fruits of their labours to their chiefs, and they 
were called Mitimaes. At the present day they serve the 
principal encomienderos, and cultivate the precious coca. 

Thus, although no maize can be raised throughout the 
Colloa, the chiefs and people did not fail to obtain it by this 
arrangement, for the Mitimaes brought up loads of maize, 
coca, and fruits of all kinds, besides plenty of honey, which 
abounds in all parts of the forests, where it is foi-med in the 
hollows of trees in the way I have described when treating 
of Quinbaya.^ In the province of Charcas this honey is 
excellent. It is said that Francisco de Carbajal, master 
of the camp to Gonzalo Pizarro, always ate this honey, and 
though he drank it as if it had been water or wine, he 
always remained strong and healthy, as he was when I saw 
him judged in the valley of Xaquixaguana, although he was 
over eighty years of age according to his own account. 


Of what is said concerning the origin of these Collas, of their appearance, 
and how they buried their dead. 

Many of these Indians say that they have heard from their 
fathers that, in times past, there was a great deluge, in the 
manner described by me in the third chapter of the second 
part. They also declare that the origin of their ancestors 
was very ancient, and they relate so many sayings and 
fictions that I shall not stop to write them down, for some 
1 See chapter xxv, p. 9U. 


say that their ancestors came out of a fountain, others from 
a rock, and others out of a lake, so that no sense can 
be learnt from them concerning their origin. But they all 
agree that their ancestors Hved in a wild state before they 
were subjugated by the Yncas, that they had strongholds 
in the mountains whence they came out to fight, and that 
they had many vicious customs. Afterwards they learnt from 
the Yncas all that had been made known to the other vassals, 
and they built their villages in the same way as they have 
them now. Both men and women are clothed in woollen 
dresses. They say that, before marriage, the women may go 
loosely, but that they are punished with death if they are 
guilty of infidelity after thej- have been delivered to husbands. 
These people wear woollen caps called cliucos on their heads. 
Their heads are very long, and flattened behind, ■ because 
they are pressed and forced into what shape they choose 
during childhood. The women wear hoods on their heads, 
almost of the same shape as those worn by friars. Before 
the Yncas conquered the country, many of the Indians 
declare that there were two great lords in the CoUoa, the 
one called Sapana and the other Cari, who conquered many 
jpucarasy which are their fortresses. They add that one of 
these chiefs entered the large island in the lake of Titicaca, 
and found there a white people who had beards ; that they 
fought with them in such a manner that all were killed; 
and that they also fought great battles with the Canas and 
Canches. After they had performed notable deeds, these 
tyrants, or lords, who had risen up in the CoUao, turned 
their arms against each other, seeking also for the friend- 
ship of the Ynca Huira-ccocha, who then reigned in Cuzco. 
The Ynca made a treaty of peace with Cari at Chucuito, 
and intrigued so skilfully that he became lord of a great 
part of the Collao without fighting. The principal chiefs of 
this country go about with a large retinue, and, when they 
travel, they are carried in litters, and treated with great 


respect by all the Indians. They had their temples and 
huacas in secret places^ where they adored their gods^ and 
those who were selected for that duty conversed with the 

The things which^ to my mind^ are most worthy of 
notice in the Collao, are the tombs of the dead. When I 
travelled over this country I stopped to write down all that 
deserved mention concerning the Indians ; and I was truly 
astonished to see how little they cared for having large and 
handsome houses for the living, while they bestowed so 
much care on the tombs where the dead were interred, as if 
all happiness did not consist in something else. Thus, in 
the plains and meadows near their villages, the tombs were 
built in the form of small towers, some of stones only, and 
others of stones mixed with earth, some broad and others 
narrow, according to the rank and wealth of those who 
built them.^ Some of them were roofed with straw, and 
others with large slabs. I observed that the doors of these 
towers were towards the east. When the natives of the 
Collao died they were mourned for during many days, the 
women holding staves in their hands, and putting ashes on 
their bodies. The relations of the deceased each con- 
tributed something, as well sheep, lambs, and maize, as 
other things, and, before they buried the corpse, they 
killed sheep, put the cooked meat into the rooms of their 
houses, and made much drink from the maize. The deceased 
is honoured according to the quantity of this beverage that 
is made. When the drink is ready, and the sheep and 
lambs killed, they carry the coi'pse to the place where the 

' The most remarkable of these tower tombs of the Collao are at a 
place called Sillustani, on a promontory running out into the lake of 
Umayu, near Puno. This promontory is literally covered with places of 
sepulture. Four of them are towers of finely cut masonry, with the sides 
of the stones dovetailing into each other. See a full description of them 
in my Travels in Peru and lacUa, p. Ill ; also Vigne's Travels in South 
America^ ii, p. 31 ; and Antiguedades Peruunas^ p. 293. 


tomb is prepared, accompanied, if the deceased was a chief, 
by the people of the village. Then they burnt ten, twenty, 
or more sheep, according- to the rank of the dead man, and 
killed the women, boys and servants who were to accompany 
him, according to their vain belief. All these are buried in 
the same tomb with the body, into which they also put 
some people alive. Having interred the deceased in this 
manner, they all return to the house whence they had taken 
the body, and there eat the food and drink the cliicha, 
coming out from time to time to dance mournful dances in 
the appointed places near the house. This goes on for 
some days, at the end of which the poorest men and women 
are assembled, and given what remains of the food and 
chlcha. If the deceased was a great chief, they did not 
bury him immediately, but, before doing so, they practised 
superstitious vanities for some days, which I shall not 
describe. When these are finished, the women and servant- 
girls who have not been killed come out into the village in 
their mantles and hoods, some carrying the arms of the 
chief, others his ornamental head-dress, and others his 
clothes and other things. They walk along uttering sad and 
sorrowful words, while an Indian goes before them mourn- 
ing and playing on a drum. Thus they traverse the greater 
part of the village, declaring, in their songs, the deeds 
of the dead chief, and other things concerning him. I 
remember that when I was going to Charcas in company 
with Diego de Uzeda, who now lives in the city of La Paz, 
we saw certain women walking in this way through the 
village of Nicasio,^ and we learnt from the people of the 
village that they were saying what I have described in this 
chapter. One of the Indians added that when these women 
had finished their lamentations, they would be made drunk, 

^ A small village of the CoUao, ou the banks of the river Pucara, near 
the point where, uniting with the Azangaro, it forms the Kamiz, which 
empties itself into lake Titioaca at the uorth-west corner. 


and some of them would be killed to accompany tlie dead 
man. In many other villages I have seen them mourn for 
the dead during many days, and put ropes of sedge round 
their heads as a sign of grief. 


How these Indians perform their annual ceremonies, and of the temples 
they had in ancient times. 

In the last chapter I have declared how these people made 
great ado when they put their dead into the tombs. After 
the interment the women and servants shaved their heads, 
put on their commonest clothing, and took no care of their 
persons. Besides this, in order to show their grief, they 
twisted ropes of sedge round their heads, and uttered con- 
tinual lamentations during a whole year if the deceased was 
a chief, and had no light in the house for several days. 
These people, by the permission of God, were, like all the 
others, deceived by the devil with the false and delusive 
apparitions of some people who were dead, dressed and 
adorned in the way their bodies had been put into the tombs. 
In order to show more care for the dead they held annual 
festivals, when they brought animals and killed them near 
the tombs, also emptying many vases of liquor over the 
tombs, which completed this vain and foolish ceremony. 

As this nation of the CoUao was so numerous, they had, 
in former times, great temples and superstitious rites, 
venerating those whom they set apart as priests, and who 
conversed with the devil. They held their festivals at the 
season when they got in their potatoes, which is their prin- 
cipal food, and then they killed animals as sacrifices. At 
the present time we do not know that they have any public 


temple, but, by the will of our God and Lord, many Catholic 
cliurclies have been founded, where our priests preach the 
holy gospel, and teach the faith to all the Indians who 
desire to receive the water of baptism. I verily believe 
that if there had been no civil wars, and if we had sincerely 
and earnestly endeavoured to convert these people, many 
would have been saved, who have now been damned. At 
present there are priests and friars in many parts of the 
Collao, appointed by those who hold encomiendas over the 
Indians ; and I pray to God that he Avill carry this work 
forward without weighing our sins. 

The natives of the Collao say the same as all the other 
people of the Sierra, that the Creator of the world was 
called Huira-ccocha, and they know that his principal abode 
is in heaven; but, deceived by the devil, they adored 
various gods, like all the other gentiles. They have certain 
romances or songs in which they preserve the memory of 
their deeds, and prevent their being forgotten, although 
they have no letters. 

Among the people of the Collao there are men of great 
intelligence, who reply to what is asked from them ; and 
they take account of time, and know some of the movements 
both of the sun and the moon. They count their years 
from ten months to ten months, and I learnt from them 
that they called the year Mari, the moon or month Ales- 
]jaquexe, and the day Auro. When they submitted to the 
Yncas they made great temples by their order, both on the 
island of Titicaca and at Hatun-colla, as well as in other 



Of the ancient ruins at Pncara, of the former greatness of Hatiin-coUa, 
of the village called Azangaro, and of other things wliich are here 

Now that I have related certain things that I was able to 
collect respecting the Collao as briefly as possible^ I propose 
to continue my writing by giving an account of the villages 
along the royal road^ as far as the city of La Paz, which is 
built in the valley of Chuquiapu, on the confines of the great 
province of the Collao. 

Coming from Ayavire along the royal road, the tra- 
veller reaches Pucara (which means a strong place), four 
leagues from Ayavire. I remained a whole day at Pucara 
looking at everything.^ It is reported by the Indians that 
there was formerly a large population in this place, but at 
present there is scarcely an inhabitant. The neighbouring 
Indians say that Tupac Ynca Yupanqui besieged the place 
during many days, for, before they could be conquered, the 
natives showed themselves to be so valorous, that they killed 
many people. When they were finally conquered, the 
Ynca ordered great stone pillars to be set up in memory of 
the victory. Whether this be really so or not I cannot say, 
but the Indians declare it. I saw the ruins of great edifices 

' Tlie editor also remained a whole day at Pucara in 1860, looking at 
everything, but more than tliree centuries had elapsed since the visit of 
Cieza de Leon, and there is no longer a vestige of the ruins mentioned 
in the text. Pucara is a little town at the foot of an ahnost perpen- 
dicular mountain, which closely resembles the northern end of the rock of 
Gibraltar. The precipice is composed of a reddish sandstone, and is 
upwards of twelve himdi'ed feet above the plain, the crevices and summit 
being clothed with long grass and slu-ubby quemias {Polylepis tomentella 
AVedd.) Here Francisco Hernandez Giron, the rebel who led an insur- 
rection to oppose the abohtion of personal service amongst the Indians, 
was finally defeated in 1554. In 1860 the aged cura, Dr. Jose Faustino 
Dasa, was one of tlie best Quichua scliolars in Peru. 


in Pucara, and many pillars of stono carved in the form of 
men, besides otlier tilings worthy of note. 

The distance from Pucara to Hatun-colla is fifteen leagues, 
and on the road there are some villages, such as Nicasio, 
Juliaca, and others. In former times Hatun-colla was the 
principal place in the Collao, and the natives aflSrm that 
before the Yncas conquered the country, the chief Sapana 
and some of his descendants ruled here, who were so 
powerful that they gained many spoils from the neighbour- 
ing people whom they defeated in battle. Afterwards the 
Yncas adorned the place with new edifices and many store- 
houses, where, by their order, the tribute was received 
from the surrounding districts. There was also a temple of 
the sun, with many Mama-cunas and priests for its service, 
and a great quantity of Mitimaes and soldiers to watch the 
frontier, and to prevent any tyrant from rising against him 
whom they held as sovereign lord. Thus it may be affirmed 
that Hatun-colla was a grand place, as its name implies, 
for Hatwi means " great " in their language. In these 
times all is in ruins, and most of the inhabitants have been 
killed in the wars.^ 

From Ayavire another road goes to Omasuyu, which 
leads round the other side of the great lake of which I shall 
treat presently, and nearer to the forests of the Andes. 
It passes by the large villages of Asillo, Azangaro, and 
others of less importance, and the country is very rich both 
in flocks and provisions. When the Yncas conquered this 
country, the people of these villages had large flocks of 
sheep. In the same district, in the forests of the Andes, is 
the famous and very rich river of Caravaya, whence, in 
former years, they took more than 1,700,000 j-^e.sos of gold 
of such fineness that it exceeded the standard ; and gold is 
still found in the river, but it is only obtained with great 

1 Hatun-colla is now a wretched little villag'^, not far from the towers 
of Sillustani, already alluded to. 


labour, and by the deatb of the Indians who work in it, 

for the climate is unhealthy, though the wealth of the 
river is e'reat.^ 


Of the great lake which is within the province of the Collao, of its 
depth, and of the temple of Titicaca. 

This land of the Collao is very extensive (as I have said in 
former chapters), and, besides the inhabited parts, there 
are many deserts, snowy mountains, and grassy plains 
which yield sustenance to the wild flocks which wander in 
all directions. In the centre of the province there is the 
largest and broadest lake that has been found in the Indies, 
near which are most of the villages of the Collao. The 
people raise their crops on large islands in the lake, where 
they also keep their valuables, as being safer than in the 
villages along the roads. I remember that I have already 
said that it is so cold in this province, that not only are 
there no fruit trees, but they cannot raise maize. In the 
beds of reeds in this lake there are many kinds of birds, 
such as large ducks, and they kill two or three kinds of fish 
in the lake, which are very good, though they are held to be 

This lake is so large that it has a circumference of eighty 
leagues, and so deep that the captain Juan Ladrillero told 
me that in some parts, when he was saihng with his brigan- 
tines, he found the depth to be seventy or eighty hrazas, in 
some places more, in others less. In this respect, and in regard 
to the waves that are formed when the wind rises, it appears 
like some gulf of the sea.^ If it is desired that I should say 

' See my chapter on the province of Caravaya, in Travels in Peru and 
India, chap, xii, p. 190. 

2 A thorough survey of the great lake of Titicaca is still a desideratum 


how SO much water was collected into this lake, I am 
unable to do so, for, though many rivers and streams fall 
into it, I do not think that they would suffice to make it what 
it is, especially as a river flows out of it into another smaller 
lake called Aullagas. It may be that, after the deluge, this 
lake remained with the water we now' see in it, for if it 
communicated with the sea the water would be salt and not 
fresh ; besides it is at a distance of sixty leagues from the 
sea. All this water flows out in a deep river which they 
called the Desaguadero, and falls into the lake which, as I 
have already said, is called Aullagas. 

Another thing worthy of attention is, that we see how 
the water of one lake enters the other (that is, the water of 
the lake of the Collao flows into the Aullagas), but not how 
it flows out of the lake of Aullagas, although it has been 
examined on all sides. On this subject I have heard both 
Spaniards and Indians say that, in some of the valleys near 
the South Sea, they had seen streams of water, which flow 

in geograpliy. The lake is about 80 miles long by 40 broad, being by 
far the in South America. It is divided into two parts by the 
peninsula of Copacabana. The southern division, called the lake of Huaqui, 
is 8 leagues long by 7, and is united to the greater lake by the strait of 
Tiquina. A number of rivers, which are of considerable volume during 
the rainy season, ilow into the lake. The largest of these is the Ramiz, 
which is formed by the junction of the two rivers of Pucara and Azan- 
garo, and enters the lake at its north-west corner. The Suchiz, formed 
by the rivers of Cavanilla and Lampa, also flows into the lake on its west 
side, as well as the Yllpa and Ylave ; while on the eastern side are the 
rivers Huarina, Escoma, and Achacache. ]\Iuch of the water thus flow- 
ing in is drained off by the great river Desaguadero, which flows out of 
the south-west corner, and disappears in the swampy lake of Aullagas, 
in the south of Boli\'ia. Perhaps a great quantity is taken up by evapo- 
ration. On the eastern side lake Titicaca is very deep, but on parts of 
the west shore it is so shoal that there is only just water enough to force 
a balsa through the forests of rushes. Tlie winds blow from the eastward 
all the year round, sometimes in strong gales, so as to raise a heavy sea. 
Along the western shore there are acres of tall rushes. The principal 
islands are those of Titicaca and Coati, near the peninsula of Copa- 
cabana, Campanario, Escoma, Soto, and Esteves. 


under the eartli towards the said sea ; and they believe 
that this may be the water of the lake, draining out and 
opening for itself a road through the bowels of the earth, 
until it reaches the place to which all waters go, which is 
the sea. 

The great lake of the Colloa is called Titicaca, from the 
temple which was built on an island in it. The natives 
held a very vain and foolish belief, which was, that in the 
time of their ancestors there was no light for many days, 
and that, when all was wrapped in darkness and obscu- 
rity, the resplendent sun came up out of this island of 
Titicaca, for which reason it was considered sacred, and 
the Yncas erected a temple on it in honour of the sun, 
which was much revered and venerated among them, and 
which contained many virgins and priests, and great store 
of treasure, of which the Spaniards, at different times, have 
collected a great deal, but most of it is still missing.^ If, 
in truth, the Indians ever really were in want of light, 
as they say, it must have been owing to some eclipse of the 
sun ; and, as they are such sorcerers, they invented this 
fable, in which they were assisted by the illusions of the 
devil, God permitting it for their sins. 


Ill which the narrative continues, and the villages are described as far 
as Tiahuanaco. 

Eeturning to the road where I left it, which was at Hatun- 
colla, I have to say that it passes thence by Paucar-colla, 

> The temple, on the island of Titicaca, was one of the most sacred 
in Peru, and the ruins are still in a good state of preservation. The 
buildings are of hewn stone, with doorways wider below than above. 
But they are inferior to those on the adjacent island of Coati. See 
Rlvero^ Antigvedadcs Pernanas^ chap. x. 


and other villages of this nation of the Collas, to Chucuito, 
which is one of the principal and most complete towns in 
any part of this great kingdom, and is the chief place of 
the Indians owned by his Majesty in this province. It is 
certain, too, that the Yncas in former times held Chucuito 
to be an important place, and, according to the accounts of 
the Indians, it is the most ancient place of any that I have 
yet described. Cariapasa was the chief of this place, and, 
for an Indian, was a very intelligent man. There are large 
buildings here ; and, before the chiefs were subjugated 
by the Yncas, they were very powerful, among whom the 
Indians mention two as the principal, named Cari and 
Yumalla. Chucuito is now, as I have said, the principal 
village of the Indians of his Majesty, whose other villages 
are Juli, Chilane, Acos, Pomata, and Zepita, in which 
there are chiefs who command the Indians. When I passed 
through these parts the corregidor was Simon Pinto, and 
the governor was an Indian named Gaspar, an intelligent 
and clever man. The natives are rich in flocks, and they 
have plenty of provisions. In other parts they have Miti- 
maes stationed to raise their maize and coca. There are 
fine churches in these villages founded by the reverend father 
friar Tomas de San Martin, principal of the Dominicans. 
The young men, and others who most desire it, assemble to 
hear the evangehcal doctrine preached by the friars and 
clergymen. Most of the chiefs have turned Christians. 
Near Zepita flows the Desaguadero, where, till the days of 
the Yncas, there used to be toll takers who received tribute 
from those who passed over the bridge, which is made of 
bundles of stalks, in such sort that men and horses can 
cross over it. In one of these \'illages, called Juli, the 
master of the camp, Francisco de Carbajal, hung the captain 
Hernando Bachicao.^ This is one of the examples which 

1 We first meet ^vith Hernando Bachicao as a captain of pikemen in 
the army of Vaca de Castro. Wlien Gouzalo Pizarro rose against the 


show us that the civil wars and troubles in Peru were the 
scourges of God, for they killed each other with great 
cruelty, as I shall relate in the proper place. 

Beyond these villages is Huaqui, where there were build- 
ings of the Yncas, one of which is now a church, where the 
children may hear the Christian doctrine at the proper 


Of the village of Tiahuanaco, and of the great and ancient edifices 
wliich are to be seen there. 

Tiahuanaco is not a very large village, but it is celebrated 
for the great edifices near it, which are certainly things 
worth seeing.^ Near the buildings there is a hill made by 

viceroy Blasco Nuiiez de Vela, he entrusted Bachicao with the formation 
of a navy. That officer took command of a brigantine at Callao, which 
had just arrived from Quilca, and sailed up the coast. At Tumbez he 
found the viceroy, who fled inland on his approach ; and Bachicao seized 
two vessels. Sailing northward he captured several others, and with the 
fleet thus formed, he got possession of the city of Panama in ISIarch 1545. 
Soon afterwards Gonzalo Pizarro appointed Hinojosa to command the 
fleet, and superseded Bachicao ; who then joined his chief with reinforce- 
ments from Panama, and took part in the final defeat of the viceroy at 
Afiaquito, where he commanded the pikemen. At the battle of Huarina, 
where he also commanded the pikemen, believing that the forces of 
Centeno were about to gain the victory, he turned traitor and deserted 
his colours ; but he was mistaken, for his old commander Gonzalo Pizarro 
won that bloody fight. Bachicao, therefore, returned to Ms own side, 
and would have been glad if his conduct had escaped observation. But 
the eagle eye of the fiery old master of the camp, Carbajal, was not to 
be deceived, and the captain Hernando Bachicao was hung by his order, 
a few days afterwards, in the little village of Juli, on the western shore 
of lake Titicaca. 

1 These ruins are in lat. 16° 42' S. long. 68" 42' W., 12,930 feet above 
the level of the sea, and twelve miles from the south shore of lake Titi- 
caca. (See ]VIr. Bollacrt's paper, in the Intellectual Observer for ]\lay 


the hands of men, on great foundations of stone.^ Beyond 
this hill there are two stone idols, of the human shape and 
figure, the features very skilfully carved, so that they appear 
to have been done by the hand of some great master. They 
are so large that they seem like small giants, and it is clear 
that they have on a sort of clothing different from those 
now worn by the natives of these parts. They seem to 
have some ornament on their heads.- Near these stone 
statues there is another building. Their antiquity and the 
want of letters, are the causes why it is not known who 
built such vast foundations, and how much time has since 
elapsed; for at present there is only a wall very well 
built, and which must have been standing for many ages. 
Some of the stones are much worn. At this part there are 
stones of such enormous size that it causes wonder to think 
of them, and to reflect how human force can have sufficed to 
move them to the place where we see them, being so large. 
Many of these stones are carved in different ways, some of 
them having the shape of the human body, which must have 

» It is 918 feet long, -400 broad, and 100 to 120 in height. 

2 The head of one of these statues is 3 feet 6 inches long, from the 
point of the beard to the upper part of the ornamental head dress ; and 
from the nose to the back of the head it measures 2 feet 7 inches. It is 
adorned with a species of round cap, 1 foot 7 inches high, and 2 feet 
5 inches in width. In the upper part are certain wide vertical bands, 
and in the lower are symbohcal figui-es with himian faces. From the 
eyes, which are large and round, two wide bands, each with three double 
cii'cles, project to the chin. From the outer part of each eye a band 
descends, adorned with two squares terminating in a serpent. The nose 
is shghtly prominent, siuTounded on the lower side by a wide semicircular 
band, and terminating towards the inner side of the eyes in two corners. 
The mouth fonus a transverse oval, garnished with sixteen teeth. From 
the imder hp projects, in the form of a beard, six bands, towards the 
edge of the cliin. The ear is represented by a semi-lunar figure in a 
square, and in the fore-part of it is a vertical band with thi-ee squares, 
terminating in the head of a wild beast. On the neck there are many' 
himian figures. The sculptiu-e of this head is very remarkable. Anti- 
(jneUades Ftruanas, p. 295. 


been their idols. Near the wall there are many holes and hol- 
low places in the ground. In another, more to the westward, 
there are other ancient remains, among them many doorways, 
with their jambs, lintels, and thresholds, all of one stone.^ 
But what I noted most particularly, when I wandered about 
over these ruins writing down what I saw, was that from 
these great doorways there came out other still larger stones, 
upon which the doorways were formed, some of them thirty 
feet broad, fifteen or more long, and six in thickness. The 
whole of this, with the doorway and its jambs and lintel, was 
all one single stone. The work is one of grandeur and 
magnificence, when well considered. For myself I fail to 
understand with what instruments or tools it can have been 
done ; for it is very certain that before these great stones 
could be brought to perfection and left as we see them, the 
tools must have been much better than those now used by 
the Indians. It is to be noted, from what now appears of 
these edifices, that they were not completed, for there is 
nothing but these portals, and other stones of strange big- 

' Of these huge monolithic doorways there is one block of hard tra- 
chytic rock measuring 10 feet in height by 13 wide, and another 7 feet 
in height. In the former block a doorway is cut, which is 6 feet 4 inches 
high, and 3 feet 2 inches wide. On its eastern side there is a cornice, 
in the centre of which a hirnian figure is carved. The head is ahnost 
square, and there proceed from it several rays, amongst which four 
snakes can be discerned. The arms are extended, and each hand holds 
a snake with a crowned head. The body is covered with an em- 
broidered garment, and the short feet rest upon a pedestal, also orna- 
mented with symbolical figures. On each side of this figure there are 
a number of small squai'es on the cornice, in tlu-ee rows, each containing 
a human figure in profile with a walking-stick in the hand. Each 
row has sixteen figures, the central row with birels' heads. Aniiguedades 
Feruanas^ p. 296. 

Acosta says that he measured one of the great stones at Tiahuanaco, 
and found it to be 38 feet long, 18 broad, and 6 deep, llistoria Natural 
de las Indias, lib. vi, cap. 1-4, p. 419. 

(In the Intellectual Observer for jNIay 1SG3, there is an excellent en- 
graving of one of the great monolithic doorways at Tiahuanaco, to illus- 
trate a paper by Mr. Bollaert.) 


ncss wliich I saw, some of them shaped aud dressed ready- 
to be placed on the edifice, which was a little on one side. 
Here there was a great idol of stone, which must have been 
placed there to be worshipped. It is rumoured that some 
gold was found near this idol ; and all round there are more 
stones, large and small, all dressed and fitted like ' those 
already described.^ 

• The famous ruins of Tiahuanaco, generally considerefl to be long 
anterior to the time of the Yncas, appear, like those at Ollantay-tambo, 
to be remains of edifices which were never completed. 

Garcilasso de la Vega gives the following account of Tiahuanaco. 
" Amongst other works in this place, one of them is a hill, made artifi- 
cially, and so high that the fact of its having been made by man causes 
astonishment ; and, that it might not be loosened, it was built upon great 
foundations of stone. It is not known why tliis edifice was made. In 
another part, away from the liill, there were two figures of giants carved 
in stone, with long robes down to the ground, and caps on their heads : 
all well worn by the hand of time, which proves their great antiquity. 
There is also an enormous wall of stones, so large that the greatest won- 
der is caused to imagine how hiunan force could have raised them to the 
place where they now are. For there are no rocks nor quarries within a 
gi-eat distance, from whence they could have been brought. In other 
parts there are grand edifices, and what causes most astonishment are some 
great doorways of stone, some of them made out of one single stone. The 
marvel is increased by their wonderful size, for some of them were found 
to measuj-e 30 feet in length, 15 in breadth, and 6 in depth. And these 
stones, with their doorways, are all of one single piece, so that it cannot 
be understood with what instnunents or tools they can have been worked. 

" The natives say that all these edifices were built before the time of the 
Yncas, and that the Yncas biult the fortress of Cuzco in imitation of them. 
They know not who erected them, but have heard their forefathers say 
that all these wonderful works were completed in a single night. The 
ruins appear never to have been finished, but to have been merely the com- 
mencement of what the founders intended to have buUt. All the above 
is from Pedro de Cieza de Leon, in his 105th chapter ; to which I pro- 
pose to add some further particular obtained from a schoolfellow of mine, 
a priest named Diego de Alcobasa (who I may call my brother, for we 
were born in the same house, and his father brought me up). Amongst 
other accounts, which he and others have sent me from my native laud, 
he says the following respecting these great edifices of Tiahuanaco. 
' In Tiahuanaco, in the province of CoUao, amongst other things, there 
are some ancient ruins worthy of immortal memory. They are near the 


There are other things to be said concerning Tiahuanaco, 
which I pass over^ concluding with a statement of my be- 
Hef that this ruin is the most ancient in all Peru. It is 
asserted that these edifices were commenced before the 
time of the Yncas^ and I have heard some Indians affirm 

lake called by the Spaniards Chucuito, the proper name of which is 
Chuquivitu. Here there are some very grand edifices, and amongst them 
there is a square coiu-t, 15 brazas each way, with waUs two stories high. On 
one side of this court there is a hall 45 feet long by 22 broad, apparently once 
covered, in the same way as those buildings you have seen in the house of 
the sun at Cuzco, with a roof of straw. The walls, roofs, floor, and door- 
ways are aU of one single piece, carved out of a rock, and the walls of 
the court and of the ball are three-quarters of a yard in breadth. The 
roof of the hall, though it appears to be thatch, is really of stone. For 
as the Indians cover their houses with thatch, in order that this might 
appear like the rest, they have combed and carved the stone so that it 
resembles a roof of thatch. The waters of the lake wash the walls of the 
court. The natives say that this and the other buildings were dedicated 
to the Creator of the imiverse. There are also many other stones carved 
into the shape of men and women so naturally that they appear to be 
alive, some drinking with cujjs in their hands, others sitting, others 
standing, and others walking in the stream which flows by the walls. 
There are also statues of women with their infants in their laps, others 
with them on their backs, and in a thousand other postiu-es. The Indians 
say that for the great sins of the people of those times, and because they 
stoned a man who was passing tln-ough the province, they were all con- 
verted into these statues.' 

" Thus far are the words of Diego de Alcobasa, who has been a vicar 
and preacher to the Indians in many provinces of this kingdom, having 
been sent by his superiors from one part to another : for, being a mestizo 
and native of Cuzco, he knows the language of the Indians better than 
others who are born in the country, and his laboiu's bear more fruit." 

The part of the country in which Tia-huanaco is situated, was first 
conquered by Mayta Ccapac, the fourth Ynca. The name is derived 
from a circumstance connected with the conquest. It is said that, while 
the Ynca was engaged in this campaign against the Aymara nation, and 
being encamped amongst the ruins, a Cauari Indian, serving as a chasqui 
or cornier, arrived from Cuzco in an extraordinarily short space of time. 
The Ynca exclaimed Tia (Be seated) Huanaco : the huanaco being the 
swiftest anunal in Peru. Thus, like Luxor, and so many other famous 
places, these wonderful ruins have received a compai'atively modern name, 
which has no real connection with their liistory. 


that the Yncas built their grand edifices at Cuzco on the 
plan which they had observed at the wall near these ruins. 
They even say that the first Yncas thought of estabhshing 
their court at Tiahuanaco. Another remarkable thing is, 
that in all this district there are no quarries whence the 
numerous stones can have been brought, the carrying of 
which must have required many people. I asked the 
natives, in presence of Juan de Varagas (who holds them 
in encomienda), whether these edifices were built in the time 
of the Yncas, and they laughed at the question, affirming 
that they were made before the Yncas ever reigned, but 
that they could not say who made them. They added that 
they had heard from their fathers that all we saw was done 
in one night. From this, and from the fact that they also 
speak of bearded men on the island of Titicaca, and of others 
who built the edifice of Vinaque,^ it may, perhaps, be in- 
ferred that, before the Yncas reigned, there was an intelli- 
gent race who came from some unknown part, and who did 
these things. Being few, and the natives many, they may 
all have been killed in the wars. 

Seeing that all these things are hidden from us, we may 
well say. Blessed be the invention of letters ! by virtue of 
which the memory of events endures for many ages, and 
their fame flies through the universe. We are not ignorant 
of what we desire to know when we hold letters in our 
hands. But in this new world of the Indies, as they knew 
nothing of letters, we are in a state of bhndness concerning 
many things. Apart from these ruins there are the build- 
ings of the Yncas, and the house where Manco Ynca, the 
son of Huayna Ccapac, was born. Close by are the tombs 
of the native chiefs of this place, as high as towers, broad 
and square, with doors towards the rising sun. 

> See chapter Ixxxvii. 



Of the fovmding of the city called of Our Lady of Peace, who was its 
founder, and of the road thence to the town of Plata. 

From the village of Tialiuanaco the road leads to Yiaclia, a 
distance of seven leagues^ leaving tlie villages called Cacay- 
avire, Caquinhora^ MaUama^ and otliers on tlie left liand ; 
but it seems to me of little use to name them all. In the 
midst of them is the plain near another village called 
Huarina ; the place where, in the days that are passed, 
there was a battle between Diego Centeno and Gonzalo 
Pizarro.^ It was a memorable event, as I shall show in the 
proper place, and many captains and knights of the King's 
party fell, fighting under the banner of the captain Diego 
Centeno, as well as some of those who were the accom- 
phces of G-onzalo PizaiTO. God was served by the rebel 
being the victor in this battle. To reach the city of La 
Paz, it is necessary to leave the royal road of the Yncas, 
and to go to the village of Laxa. The city is a day's journey 
further on, built in the narrow part of a small valley formed 
by the mountains. It was founded in the most level part 
that could be selected, for the sake of the wood and water, 
of which there is much in this small valley, as the chmate is 
warmer than on the plains of the CoUao, which are higher, 
and where there are none of the things necessary for a 
large city. Notwithstanding all this, the citizens have 
thought of moving nearer to the great lake of Titicaca, 
between the villages of Huaqui and Tiahuanaco. Yet the 
city has remained in the vaUey of Chuquiapu where, in 
former years, great quantities of gold were taken out of the 

» On the 26th of October 1547 Centeno mustered a thousand men, of 
whom 250 were mounted. Gonzalo Pizarro's force barely amoimted to 400 
infantry and 85 cavalry. Pizarro gained a complete victory, and 350 of . 
Centeno's followers were killed. 



rich mines that are there. The Yncas held this Cliuquiapu 
in great estimation. Near it is the valley of Oyune^ where 
they say that there is a great treasure hidden in a temple 
on the summit of a snowy mountain, but it cannot be found, 
nor is it known where it is. 

This city of La Paz was founded by the captain Alonzo 
de Mendoza, in the name of the Emperor our lord, when 
the licentiate Pedro de la Gasca was president of this king- 
dom, in the year of our redemption 1549.^ In the valley 
formed by the mountains, where the city is built, they raise 
a few trees, some maize, and the pulses and garden stuffs 
of Spain. The Spaniards are here well supphed with pro- 
\nsions and with fish from the lake, as well as with plenty 
of fruit from the warm valleys, where they also grow a 
great quantity of wheat, and breed goats, cows, and other 
animals. This city has very rugged and difficult approaches, 
being, as I have said, amongst the mountains. A small 
river of excellent water flows near it. 

The distance from this city of La Paz to the town of 
Plata, which is in the province of Charcas, is ninety leagues, 
a little more or less. I will now return to the royal road 
which I had left, and I have to say that it goes from Viacha 
to Hayohayo, where there were great buildings for the 
Yncas. Beyond Hayohayo is Sicasica, to which point the 
province of Colloa extends. On both sides of these villages 
there are several more. Eleven leagues beyond Sicasica is 
the village of Caracollo, which is built in a certain plain near 
the great province of Paria, which was highly esteemed by 

' The president Gasca ordered Don Alonzo de INIendoza, an officer who 
had come over to hmi from the party of Gonzalo Pizarro, to found a new 
city south of lake Titicaca, which was to be called " La Ciudad de 
Nuestra Senora de la Paz ;" to commemorate the peace which had been 
established, after the overthrow of the rebel Gonzalo Pizarro. It was 
deemed convenient that there should be a Spanish settlement between 
Cuzco and the rich silver-yielding province of Charcas, and thus the 
building of the city of La Paz was commenced. It is now one of the 
principal towns in the modern Republic of Bolivia. 


tlie Yncas. The natives of this province of Paria are 
clothed hke all the rest^ and thej wear, as an ornamental 
head-dress, a small woollen cap. The chiefs were much 
reverenced by the Indians, and there were rojal edifices 
and store-houses of the Yncas, and a temple of the sun. 
Here there are a great many lofty tombs where they buried 
their dead. The villages of Indians subject to Paria are 
Caponota and many others, some near the lake, and some 
in different parts of the district. Beyond Paria are the 
villages of Pocoata, Macha, Coracora, Moromoro, and near 
the Andes there are other provinces and great chiefs. 


Of the founding of the town of Plata, wliich is situated in the province 
of Charcas. 

The noble and loyal town of Plata, a settlement of Spaniards 
in Chuquisaca (in the province of Charcas), is very famous 
throughout the kingdoms of Peru, and in other parts of the 
world, for the great treasure which, in these latter years, 
has been brought thence to Spain. This town is built in 
the best situation that could be found, in a place, as I have 
abeady said, which is called Chuquisaca.^ The climate is 
temperate, and well suited for the growth of fruit trees, 
vines, wheat and barley, and other things. At present the 
farms and lands are very valuable by reason of the rich 
mines that have been discovered at Potosi. Several rivers 
of very good water flow near, and many cows, mares, and 
goats are bred on the estates of the Spaniards. Some of 
the citizens of this town are among the richest and most 
prosperous people in the Indies, for in the years 1548 and 

> It is now known as the city of Chuquisaca, or Sucre, and is the capital 
of the repubhc of BoHvia. 


1549 a reparUmiento belonging to the general Pedro de 
Hinojosa^ yielded a rent of more than one hundred thousand 
castellanos, and others yielded eighty thousand, some even 
more. The treasure that was found in those times was a 
wonderful thing. This town of Plata was settled and founded 
by the captain Peransurez, in the name of his Majesty the 
emperor and king our lord, the Adelantado Don Francisco 
Pizarro being his governor and captain-general of Peru, in 
the year 1538. Besides the villages already mentioned, 
this town has jurisdiction over Totora, Tapacan, Sipisipe, 
Cochabamba, the Carangues, Quillanca, Chayanta, Chaqui, 
the Chichas, and many others, all very rich, and some, like 
the valley of Cochabamba, suited for the growth of wheat 
and maize, and for breeding cattle. Beyond this town is 
the province of Tuquma, and the regions which were entered 
and discovered by the captains Felipe Gutierrez, Diego de 
Eojas, and Nicolas de Heredia, in which direction they 
discovered the river of La Plata, and reached the fortress 
which was built by Sebastian Cabota. Diego de Rojas 
died of a wound from an arrow poisoned with the herb used 
by the Indians, and afterwards Francisco de Mendoza 
seized Felipe Gutierrez, and obliged hiin to return to Peru. 
The same Francisco de Mendoza, when he returned to 
discover the river, was killed, together with his heutenant 

1 Pecli-o de Hinojosa is first heard of as fighting bravely against 
Ahnagro the younger, in the battle of Chiipas. He afterwards joined 
the fortunes of Gonzalo Pizarro, and that ill-fated cliief entrusted him 
with the command of Panama and of the fleet. On the arrival of the 
president Gasca from Spain, Hinojosa, after some montlis of hesitation, 
betrayed his trust, and handed over the fleet to the wily ecclesiastic on 
November 19th, 1546. He was rewarded by being appointed Gasca's 
general by land and sea, and commanded the troops at the final over- 
throw of his old commander on the plain of Xaquixaguana. Gasca 
granted Gonzalo Pizarro's valuable estates and mines in Charcas to 
Hinojosa. He was also apjiointed corregidor of Charcas, where he was 
assassinated two years afterwards in a mutiny headed by Sebastian dc 


Ruy Sanchez de Hinojosa^ by Nicolas de Heredia. Tlius 
these parts were not entirely discovered^ owing to the 
quarrels and feuds amongst the explorers, who returned to 
Peru. Here they met with Lope de Mendoza, the lieu- 
tenant of Diego Centeno, who was flying from the fury of 
Carbajal, Gonzalo Pizarro^s captain ; and joined him. They 
were defeated by the same Carbajal at a village called 
Pocona, and soon afterwards Lope de Mendoza and Nicolas 
de Heredia fell into his power, and were put to death by 
him, with others.' 

Further on is the government of Chile, of which Pedro de 
Valdivia is the governor, and other lands bordering on the 
strait which is called Magellanes. But as the affairs of 
Chile are important, and require a special narrative, 1 have 
only written what I saw between Uraba and Potosi, which 
is near this town, a road of such length that it must be 
(from the borders of Uraba to the further end of the town 
of Plata) a good two thousand two hundred leagues, as I 
have already stated. I shall not go further in this my first 
part, except to say that the Indians subject to the town of 
Plata have the same customs as those of other parts. After 
they were conquered by the Yncas, their villages were well 
ordered, and both men and women wore clothes. They 
worshipped the sun and other things, and had temples in 
which they performed their sacrifices. Many of them, such 
as the Charcas and Carangues, were very warlike. From 

• Before the defeat and death of the viceroy Blasco Nunez de Vela, 
near Quito in January 1546, Gonzalo Pizarro had sent his lieutenant 
Carbajal to reduce the province of Charcas, and put down a revolt 
headed by Diego Centeno and Lope de Mendoza. Centeno fled, closely 
pursued by Carbajal, and hid himself in a cave somewhere near Arequipa 
for eight months. The aged veteran Francisco de Carbajal, having run 
this fox to earth, then marched into Charcas, and captured Lope de 
Mendoza and Nicolas de Heredia, both of whom he hung. Carbajal 
sent the heads of his victims to Arequipa, while he busied himself in col- 
lecting silver from the rich mines of Potosi, to supply the needs of his 


this town captains and soldiers set out to serve his Majesty 
several times during the late wars, and they sei"ved loyally. 
With this I make an end of what I have to say touching 
the founding of the town of Plata. 


Of the riches in Porco, and how there are large veins of silver near 
that town. 

It appears from what the Indians now say that, in the 
times when the Kings Yncas governed this kingdom of Peru, 
they obtained a great quantity of silver from some parts 
of this province of Charcas, and Indians were stationed 
there, who gave the metal to the overseers or their deputies.' 
In the hill of Porco, which is near the town of Plata, there 
were mines out of which the Indians got silver for their lords. 
Much of the silver which was in the temple of the sun, 
called Ccuri-cancha, is said to have been taken from this 
hill, and the Spaniards have also got a great deal out of it. 
In the present year a mine belonging to the captain Her- 
nando Pizarro has been cleaned out, which was worth more 
than two hundred thousand pe^ios of gold every year, An- 
tonio Alvarez, an inhabitant of this town, showed me, in the 
City of the Kings, a little ore taken from this hill of Porco, 
which appeared to be nearly all silver. In short, Porco was 
in former times extremely rich, and is so still, and it may be 
behoved that it always will be. In many neighbouring- 
hills, within the jurisdiction of this town of Plata, rich 

> The ancient Peruvians knew of gold, silver, copper, tin, and quick- 
silver. They took the silver from mines which were not very deep, aban- 
doning them as soon as the hardness of the ore offered a resistance sufficient 
to withstand their imperfect tools. They not only knew native silver, but 
also its chemical combinations, such as the sulphate, antimonial silver, etc. 
They also knew how to extract the pure metal from these compounds by 
fusion, or in portable stoves. 



mines of gold and silver have been found. It may be held 
for certain that there is so much of this metal that if there 
were those to seek and extract it^ they would get httle less 
than^ in the province of Biscay, they get iron. But as it 
must be got out by Indians, and as the country is too cold 
for Negroes, there are reasons enough why such great 
wealth is lost. I have also to say that in some parts of the 
district belonging to the town of Plata there are rivers 
which bring down very fine gold. In the Chichas, villages 
given in encoinienda to Hernando Pizarro, and subject to 
this town, it is said that there are some silver mines ; and 
great rivers rise in the Andes, near which, if gold mines 
were sought for, I hold that they would be found.^ 


How they discovered the mines of Potosi, whence they have taken riches 
such as have never been seen or heard of in other times ; and how, 
as the metal does not run, the Indians get it by the invention of 
the huayras. 

The mines of Porco, and others in this kingdom, have been 
open since the time of the Yncas, when the veins whence 
they extract the metal were discovered ; but those which 
they have found in the hill of Potosi (concerning which I 
now desire to write) were never worked until the year 
1546. A Spaniard named Villaroel was searching for veins 
of metal with some Indians, when he came upon this wealth 
in a high hill, being the most beautiful and best situated in 
all that district. As the Indians call all hills and lofty 
eminences Potosi, it retained that name. Although Gonzalo 
Pizarro was then waging war against the viceroy, and the 

^ The gold mines of Tipuani, to the eastward of the Andes of BoUvia, 
are the richest in South America. See an account of the method of 
working them in Bonelh's Travels in Bolivia^ i, p. 268. 


whole kingdom was troubled with this rebellion, the skirts 
of the hill were soon peopled, and many large houses were 
built. The Spaniards made their principal settlement in this 
place, the court of justice was removed to it, and the town of 
Plata was almost deserted. They discovered five very rich 
veins on the upper part of the hill, called the ''rich vein,'^ the 
"vein of tin,^^ etc. This wealth became so famous, that Indians 
came from all parts to extract silver from the hill. The climate 
is cold, and there are no inhabited places in the vicinity. 
When the Spaniards had taken possession, they began to 
extract the silver, and he who had a mine gave each Indian 
who entered it a marc, or, if he was very rich, two marcs 
every week. So many people came to work the mines, that 
the place appeared hke a great city. That the greatness 
of these mines may be known, I will say what I saw in the 
year of our Lord 1549 in this place, when the licentiate 
Polo^ was corregidor of the town of Plata for his Majesty. 
Every Saturday the metal was melted down in his house, 
and of the royal fifths there came to his Majesty thirty 
thousand or twenty-five thousand pesos, and sometimes 
forty thousand. And while extracting such immense wealth, 
that the fifth of the silver, which belonged to his Majesty, 
came to more than one hundred and twenty thousand cas- 
tellanos" every month, they said there was little silver, and 

> The licentiate Polo de Ondegardo was aj^poiuted corregidor of 
Charcas by the president Gasca, and subsequently of Cuzco, where he 
remained for several years. He was the author of two Eelaciones, or 
reports to the government, the first addi-essed to the viceroy INIarquis of 
Canete in 1561, and the second to the Coimt of Nieva. They contain 
an account of the laws, habits, religion, and poUcy of the Yncas. Un- 
fortunately these valuable documents have never been printed, and IVIr. 
Prescott obtained copies both of them and of the equally important 
manuscript of Sarmiento from Lord Kingsborough's collection, through 
the agency of ]\Ir. Rich. Their pubhcation would be a great boon to 
the student of ancient South American civilisation. See Prescott's 
Peru, i, p. 162, etc. 

- A castellano was worth about £2 12s 6d. of our money. 

CC 2 


that the mines were not well worked. Yet this metal, 
which was brought to be melted, was only what belonged to 
the Christians^ and not even all that, for a great deal was 
taken in pure bits and carried oflf ; and it may be believed 
that the Indians took a great deal to their own homes. It 
may with truth be asserted that in no part of the world 
could so rich a hill be found, and that no prince receives 
such profits and rents as this famous town of Plata. From 
the year 1548 to 1551 the royal fifths were valued at more 
than three millions of ducats, which is more than the Span- 
iards got from Atahualpa, and more than was found in the 
city of Cuzco, when it was first occupied.^ It appears that 
the silver ore cannot be made to run by the bellows, nor 
can it be converted into silver by means of fire at Potosi. 
In Porco, and in other parts of the kingdom where they 
extract metal, they make great plates of silver, and the 
metal is purified and separated from the dross by fire, in 
which operation large bellows are used. But in Potosi, 
although this plan has been tried, it has never succeeded ; 

' Acosta says that in his time there were four principal veins of silver 
on the hill of Potosi, called La Rica^ Centeno^ Estano (tin), and Mendietu. 
They were all on the east side, and ran in a north and south direction. 
There were many other smaller veins which branch off from these four, 
and in each vein there were several mines. In La Rica there were 
seventy-eight mines, which were very deep ; and to remedy the evils 
caused by their great depth, horizontal excavations, called socabones, 
were made in the sides of the hill, and continued untd they met the veins. 
The mines of Potosi were discovered by an Indian named Hualpa, a 
native of Chumbivilica near Cuzco. He was clmibing up a steejj part of 
the hiU in chase of deer, and helj^ing his ascent by catching hold of the 
quenua shrubs {Polylepis tomentella^ Wedd.) wliich grow there. One 
of the shrubs came ujo by the roots, and disclosed a quantity of native 
silver, which was the commencement of the vein called La Rica. He 
secretly worked the vein himself for some time, but eventually disclosed 
the secret to a native of Xauxa, who told his master, a Simniard of 
Porco, named Villaroel, and the latter began to work the vein in April 
1545. The three other principal veins were discovered between April 
and August of the same year. People soon flocked from all parts to seek 
their fortunes at the hill of Potosi. Acosta, lib. iv, cap, 6, 7, 8. 


and though great masters have endeavoured to work with 
bellows^ their diligence has availed them nothing. 

As a remedy may be found in this world for all evils, 
there has not been wanting an invention for extracting this 
metal, which is the strangest imaginable. The Indians, 
who were so ingenious, found that in some parts the silver 
could not be extracted with the aid of bellows, as was the 
case at Potosi. They, therefore, made certain moulds of 
clay, in the shape of a flower-pot in Spain, with many air- 
holes in all parts. Charcoal was put into these moulds, 
with the metal on the top, and they were then placed on the 
part of the hill where the wind blew strongest, and thus the 
metal was extracted, which was then purified and refined 
with small bellows. In this manner all the metal that has 
been taken from the hill is extracted. The Indians go to 
the heights with the ores to extract the silver, and they call 
the moulds Guayras.^ In the night there are so many of 
them on aU parts of the hill, that it looks Hke an illumina- 
tion. When the wind is fresh they extract much silver, 
but when there is no wind they cannot by any means 
extract silver ; so that, as the wind is profitable in the sea 
for navigating, it is so here for extracting silver. As the 
Indians have no overseers when they carry the metal up to 
the heights, it must be supposed that they have enriched 
themselves, and taken much silver to their own homes. 
This is the reason that Indians have come from all parts of 
the kingdom to this settlement of Potosi, to take advantage 
of the great opportunities offered for enriching themselves." 

' Huayra is ''wind" or "air" in Quichua. 

- Acosta tells us that, when he wrote in 1608, most of the silver was 
extracted from the ore by means of quicksilver. Formerly, however, 
he says that there Avere more than six thousand hiiayras on the sides and 
stmimit of the hUl of Potosi. " The huayras were small ovens in which the 
metal was melted, and to see them burning at night with a red heat, and 
tlirowing their light to a distance, was a pleasant spectacle. At present 
if the nimiber of huayras reaches to one thousand or two thouscind, it is 



There was the richest market in the world at this liill of Potosi, at the 
time when these mines were prosperous. 

In all parts of this kingdom of Peru we who have travelled 
over it know that there are great- fairs or markets^ where 
the natives make their bargains. Among these the greatest 

the outside, because the melting is done on a small scale, nearly all the 
metal being extracted by quicksilver." Acosta, lib. iv, cap. 9, p. 218. 

The hill of Potosi is in 21° 40' S. lat., and seventeen thousand feet 
above the level of the sea. The name is said to be derived from the 
Aymara word Potocsi ("he who makes a noise"), because, when Huayna 
Ccapac in 1462 ordered search to be made for a silver mine on the hill, a 
terrible voice cried out from undergTound that the riches it contained 
were reserved for other masters. O. de la Vega. 

Zarate says, that in a short time after the discovery of the silver, seven 
thousand Indians were at work, who had to give two marcs of silver to 
their masters every week, which they did with such ease, that they 
retained more silver for themselves than they paid to their employers. 
Historia del Peru, lib. vi, cap. 4. 

In 1563 Potosi was constituted a town, and was granted a coat of arms 
by Philip II ; and in 1572 the viceroy Don Francisco de Toledo went in 
person to this great seat of mining wealth, and established regulations 
for its government. This viceroy also introduced the use of quicksilver, 
a mine of which had been discovered at Huancavehca, by a Portuguese 
named Enrique Garces, in 1566. Toledo also regulated and legaHsed 
the atrocious system of mitas, or forced labour in the mines. He caused 
a census to be taken of Indians in Peru, between the ages of eighteen 
and fifty, the result of which gave a total of 1,677,697 men liable for 
service, who were divided into 614 ayllus or lineages. Of these he 
assigned a seventh part of those Uving in the seventeen nearest pro^dnces, 
or 11,199 Indians, to work at the mines of Potosi, under certain rules for 
their protection, which were generally evaded. According to Toledo's 
law, each Mitayo, or forced laboiu-er, would only have to serve for 
eighteen months dmmg the thirty-two years that he was liable. They 
were to receive twenty rials a week, and half a rial for every league of 
distance between their native village and Potosi. In 1611 there was a 
population of one hundred and sixty thousand inhabitants in the town of 
Potosi, of whom seventy-six thousand were Indians, three thousand 
Spaniards, tliirty-five thousand Creoles, forty thousand Europeans, and 
six thousjind Negroes and IMulattoes. The riches accumulated by in- 



and richest was formerly in the city of Cuzco, for even in 
the time of the Spaniards its greatness was caused by the 
gold which was bought and sold there, and by the other 
things of all kinds that were sent into the city. But this 
market or fair at Cuzco did not equal the superb one at 
Potosij where the traffic was so great that, among the 
Indians alone, without including Christians, twenty-five 
or thirty thousand golden 2^esos exchanged hands daily. 
This is wonderful, and I believe that no fair in the world 
can be compared to it. I saw this fair several times, and 
it is held in a plain near the town. In one place there were 
ccstos (bags) of coca, the most valuable product in these 
parts. In another place there were bales of cloth and 
fine rich shirtings. Here were heaps of maize, dried pota- 
toes, and other provisions, there great quantities of the 
best meat in the country. This fair continued from early 
morning until dusk ; and as these Indians got silver every 
day, and are fond of eating and treating, especially those 
who have intercourse with Spaniards, they all spent what 
they got, so that people assembled from all parts with pro- 
visions and other necessaries for their support. Many 
Spaniards became rich in this settlement of Potosi by 
merely employing two or three Indian women to traffic in 
this fair. Great numbers of Yana-cuna,'^ who are free 
Indians with the right of serving whom they please, flocked 

dividuals were enormous, and a man named Sinteros, "the rich," who 
died in 1650, was worth twenty million dollars. Mercnrio Peruano. 

In 1825 there were about five thousand mouths of mines on the momi- 
tain, of which only fifty or sixty were then worked. The upjier portion 
of the mountain, indeed, was so completely honeycombed, that it was 
considered as nearly worked out. The lower part, about one-thii-d of the 
cone, was then hardly touched, in consequence of the number of springs 
which impede the working. 

> }7«ia, in Quichua, is a "companion," and also a "servant." The 
word also means "black." Ciina is a particle denoting the plural num- 
ber. The Tana-cnna were a class of Indians forced to labour as domestic 
servants, but with tlie power to choose their masters. 


to the fair^ and the prettiest girls from Cuzco and all parts 
of the kingdom^ were to be met with at the fair. 

I observed that many frauds were committed^ and that 
there was little truth spoken. The value of articles was 
not great, and cloths, linens, and Hollands were sold almost 
as cheap as in Spain. Indeed, I saw things sold for so 
small a price, that they would have been considered cheap 
in Seville. Many men, possessed of great wealth, owing 
to their insatiable avarice, lost it by this traffic of buying 
and selhng, some of whom fled to Chile, Tucuman, and 
other parts, from fear of their debts. There were also many 
disputes and lawsuits among the traffickers. 

The climate of Potosi is healthy, especially for the Indians, 
for few or none fall ill there. The silver is conveyed by the 
royal road to Cuzco, or to the city of Arequipa, which is 
near the port of Quilca. Most of it is carried by sheep, 
without which it would be very difficult to travel in this 
kingdom, owing to the great distance between the cities, 
and the want of other beasts. 


Of the sheep, huanacus, and vicunas, which they have in most parts of 
the mountains of Peru. 

It appears to me that in no part of the world have sheep 
like those of the Indies been found or heard of. They are 
especially met with in this kingdom and in the government 
of Chile, as well as in some parts of the province of the Rio 
de la Plata. It may be that they will also be found in 
parts that are still unknown. These sheep are among the 
most excellent creatures that God has created, and the most 
useful. It would seem that the Divine Majesty took care 


to create these animals, that the people of this country 
might be able to live and sustain themselves, for by no 
other means could these Indians (I speak of the moun- 
taineers of Peru) preserve their hves without these sheep, 
or others which would supply them with the same neces- 
saries. In this chapter I shall relate how this is. 

In the valleys on the coast, and in other warm regions, 
the natives sow cotton, and make their clothes from it, so 
that they feel no want, because the cotton cloth is suitable 
for their climate. 

But in the mountainous parts, such as the Collao and 
Charcas, no tree -will grow, and if the cotton was sown it 
would yield nothing, so that the natives, unless they ob- 
tained it by trading, could have no clothing. To supply 
this need, the Giver of all good things, who is God our 
Lord, created such vast flocks of these animals which we 
call sheep, that, if the Spaniards had not diminished their 
number in the wars, there would be no possibility of count- 
ing them, such would have been their increase in all parts. 
But, as I have already said, the civil wars of the Spaniards 
have been like a great pestilence, both t